Washington, D.C. - Caterpillar Inc. announced that the company will build a new manufacturing facility in Clarke and Oconee counties. The facility is expected to directly employ 1,400 people once it is fully operational and the total investment for opening the new facility is estimated to be approximately $200 million.
Caterpillar’s new facility will create the manufacturing and industry jobs that Georgians need the most right now, and it will also provide a welcomed boost to the embattled state’s economy.
In addition to the 1,400 people working in the new facility near Athens, Caterpillar estimates another 2,800 full times jobs will be created in the United States among suppliers and at other non-Caterpillar companies that will support the new facility.
Caterpillar said it hadn't yet determined wage levels for the Athens plant, but the company recently has been offering workers at a train-locomotive plant in Muncie, Ind., starting pay of between $12 and $18.50 an hour, plus medical and dental benefits and a retirement-savings plan.
Caterpillar already is building a plant to make larger excavators in Victoria, Texas. The company will use that plant to serve the North American market rather than importing the machines from Japan, allowing it to concentrate its Japanese production of large excavators on markets in China and the rest of Asia.
Athens won the plant partly because it is near ports in Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C., and has "a good pool of potential employees with manufacturing experience," Caterpillar said. It also cited "a positive and proactive business climate."