Looking for a well-compensated job in a field that’s an intrinsic part of nearly everything you see and touch? Consider the chemical industry.

Jobs as technicians, engineers, researchers, business-to-business sales and others to support all of the above are abundant in companies that make everything from surgical devices no larger than an eyelash to cables that support bridges, office towers and power plants. Some 5,000 of these jobs are in the Pittsburgh region at 250 companies as PPG Industries, Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience), Calgon Carbon, Braskem and more.

So it’s not surprising that for 48 years the region has celebrated Pittsburgh Chemical Day, a gathering that shares best practices and trends in science, R&D, policy, markets and talent attraction and development. On Oct. 6, PPG Industries President and CEO Michael H. McGarry delivered the luncheon keynote address for the day-long event at the Heinz History Center.

“The chemical and coatings industry is poised to grow, but we must tackle key challenges to achieve continued success,” McGarry said. A big part of that is working to improve education and talent attraction, as Pittsburgh faces a looming shortage in skilled workers as Baby Boomers retire. (You can read more about McGarry’s comments in this Pittsburgh Business Times article.)

Eric Giles of Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) is one of those young workers who has found great opportunities – and a great life – working in the chemical industry here. A senior R&D specialist, Giles left his hometown for college and considered a range of cities to launch his career. But he chose Pittsburgh for its multi-national scope and opportunities in product development.

Learn more about Eric Giles in the video below.