Two members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly from Westmoreland County recently took the opportunity to tour a polyiso manufacturing facility to learn about the impact of the insulation industry on the state. Representative Eric Nelson spent January 29, 2018 at the Firestone Building Products plant in Youngwood, Pa. and Senator Kim Ward toured the same plant on February 2, 2018.
“It’s great to see high-tech manufacturing here in our back yard,” said Representative Nelson. “The Firestone plant is truly an impressive facility!”
The visits were part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness among state legislators about the benefits that polyiso manufacturers bring to Pennsylvania communities and to discuss the challenges now facing America’s manufacturing sector. Both visits included an overview of the polyiso manufacturing process, a summary of product usage, and information about the importance of the insulation industry within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Westmoreland County.
“It is inspiring to watch skilled workers and advanced machinery turn raw materials into a product that is helping so many American companies decrease their energy costs and improve the resilience of their buildings,” said Justin Koscher, President of the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA). “The cost savings and steady employment these products provide make them major contributors to Pennsylvania’s economic health. PIMA is proud to showcase our manufacturers’ positive impact on local communities and highlight the tremendous resource polyiso insulation represents for improving building energy efficiency in Pennsylvania.”
The US Department of Energy reports that more than 62,000 jobs in Pennsylvania are generated by the energy efficiency industry, surpassing the total number of jobs generated from the coal, natural gas, petroleum and corn ethanol industries combined. Insulation-related companies with facilities in Pennsylvania such as PIMA members - Atlas Roofing Corporation, Carlisle Construction Materials, Covestro, Evonik, Firestone Building Products, and Johns Manville - bring more than 14,000 total jobs to the state.
“At a time when we hear so much about energy efficiency and preparing for the effects of severe weather events, it is so important to support the industries that are poised to help us safeguard our homes and workplaces from unanticipated changes in energy costs and unpredictable weather events,” added Koscher. “One key step toward resiliency is for states to adopt modern building energy codes. Pennsylvania is several cycles behind its neighboring states in updating its building codes that promote the use of advanced building products and construction practices. Visits from leaders like Senator Ward and Representative Nelson help showcase how Pennsylvania can pursue policies that would markedly improve its energy efficiency trajectory—to the benefit of both the environment and the economy.”
Along with its role in boosting the economy through lower energy usage, insulation has become a driver of American prosperity. Across the country, the industry produces 400,000 jobs and $20 billion in payrolls. Economic activity from insulation manufacturing contributes $1.1 billion to state and local governments and $1.9 billion in federal tax revenues. In a very real sense, the success of the insulation industry is vital to the country’s welfare.
Polyiso is an increasingly important part of that success. Polyiso is one of the nation’s most widely-used and cost-effective insulation products. Polyiso’s benefits include:
- Made in the U.S. – there are more than 40 U.S. manufacturing plants that make polyiso and the raw materials used in its production;
- Excellent thermal performance (high R-value) per inch of thickness;
- Recycled content (amount varies by product);
- Recyclable through reuse;
- Zero ozone depletion potential; and
- Virtually no global warming potential