Often referred to as the 'birthplace' of the plastics industry (a distinction also
claimed by Leominster, Massachusetts, and Chicago), the northwestern region
of Pennsylvania produced myriad family molding companies, many of which
were founded here and continue to operate here today. This presentation will
focus on the generational aspects of the industry, including the pioneers of
plastics, the tech of the time, the role of entrepreneurship, fierce competitions
that yielded deep friendships, the Society of Plastics Engineers incubated
in the Roche family kitchen, the renowned Plastics Engineering Technology
Program at Penn State Behrend, and more.
– Paul "Hoop" Roche, M.B.A.
Corry event to be held at the Corry Higher Educational Council (221 N. Center
St, Corry, PA 16407)
Paul “Hoop” Roche, M.B.A., grew up in both Erie (attending Cathedral Prep) as well as Corry, where his dad founded Erie Plastics. A 1967 graduate of Notre Dame, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard and deployed to Vietnam. Upon returning from his service, Hoop married Marne and obtained his master’s degree from American University. His decades-long career in plastics began in 1972 when he served as a Sales Engineer for Erie Plastics, and after various roles, he would become President in 1981 at age 36. During his tenure, the company grew from $ 8mm in revenues to $100mm in 2007, with EP expanding nationally to Massachusetts and globally to Hungary.