Plastics. That famous one-word line was whispered by a neighbor into Dustin Hoffman's ear in the movie ``The Graduate.'' Hoffman's character had no clue what his neighbor was talking about, but we sure do in Ohio. Plastics is a $15 billion-a-year industry in Ohio employing more than 100,000 people - nearly 10 percent of the national plastics industry workforce.
The industry is so important that on April 30, the Ohio Plastics Summit '96 will be held at the Columbus Convention Center in downtown Columbus. It will be Ohio's second Plastics Summit. The first was held in Columbus two years ago, and was so successful that it has become a model that other states are emulating.
The summit is being co-sponsored by the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., the Plastics Processors Association of Ohio, the Society of Plastics Engineers, the Edison Polymer Innovation Corp., the Ohio Economic Development Council and the Ohio Department of Develop-ment. This daylong event is designed to provide a forum for plastics industry representatives to discuss their needs with Ohio government officials, legislators and educators.
The summit also will feature first-rate speakers, including Glen Hiner, chairman and chief executive officer of Owens Corning; Donald Jake-way, director of the Ohio De-partment of De-velopment; Red Cavaney, president and CEO of the American Plastics Council Inc.; William Patient, chairman, president and CEO of the Geon Co.; and Frank N. Kelly, dean of the College of Polymer Science & Polymer Engineering at the University of Akron. I am pleased and honored to be the keynote luncheon speaker.
Breakout sessions will be held throughout the day and will cover a broad range of pertinent issues, including plastics education, work force development, energy, environmental issues, industry training, international trade, workers' compensation and state assistance programs. These sessions will be staffed and moderated by experts on the various subjects and will allow for question and answer sessions.
To conclude the Ohio Plastics Summit '96, a reception will be held in the Capitol Atrium of the Ohio Statehouse. This reception will provide an opportunity for the industry to interact with members of the Ohio General Assembly, and explain the tre-mendous role that plastics plays in Ohio's economy. During the reception, an exhibit of plastics products manufactured in Ohio, along with other related materials, will be displayed.
Ohio's dynamic plastics industry plays a major role in Ohio's economy. Some 1,100 plastics product processors, including custom, captive and proprietary establishments, are located in Ohio. The growth of processing jobs in Ohio is projected to continue unabated at 1.7 percent a year until 2005, which translates to 8,600 new jobs between 1994-2005.
Additionally, in Ohio, there are about 450 industry-related companies, including custom compounders, mold makers, resin producers, processing machinery builders, colorant and chemical suppliers, distributors and others. Our proximity to companies that supply raw materials for plastics goods, in conjunction with our strategic location within a 500-mile radius of half of the U.S. population, makes Ohio a natural home for the industry.
Ohio's powerful plastics industry is recognized internationally. Last fall, I was the first governor to attend the K'95 show in Dusseldorf, Germany. Ohio's presence at the show and the contacts that our companies made not only helped to increase business for our companies, but also solidified our status as a leader in the plastics industry.
As the state of Ohio's CEO, it is my pleasure to attend industry trade shows like K'95 and to be a sponsor of events like the Ohio Plastics Summit '96.
It is my hope that the Ohio Plastics Summit '96 will provide a forum that will help industry professionals and government leaders come together to generate new ideas and create a better environment for the plastics industry.
In doing so, we also will help to enlarge our national and international business markets and maintain Ohio's status as a leader in the industry.
Voinovich is the governor of Ohio.