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Caterpillar to expand in Clayton, may be eyeing another NC plant

Posted February 1, 2012

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— Equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. said Wednesday that it plans to expand its manufacturing operations in Johnston County and will add 199 jobs in the next five years.

The company also is believed to be looking at a site on the Brunswick-Columbus county line for a plant that would employ 1,000 people.

Caterpillar will spend $33 million on the expansion in Clayton, which involves adding production lines for small-wheel loaders and building a design, engineering and test facility.

“As we see global demand for our products increase, we continue to make long-term investments like this in our facilities to help meet customer needs,” Caterpillar Vice President Mary Bell, who oversees the company's Building Construction Products Division, said in a statement.

The average annual salary for the new jobs will be $41,466, plus benefits. The average annual wage in Johnston County is $31,460.

The move continues a growth trend for Caterpillar in North Carolina following several rounds of layoffs in 2008-09 because of the global recession.

Last fall, the company opened a new operation in Sanford, which officials said would employ 325 workers within five years. Caterpillar also is building a $426 million plant in Winston-Salem to build axle assemblies for mining equipment.

Columbus County Manager Bill Clark said a company that he declined to identify is interested in a site off of U.S. Highway 74-76. The area is competing with sites in South Carolina and Georgia for the plant, he said.

Caterpillar was awarded a $400,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund to help with the Clayton expansion. No money is paid upfront, and companies must meet job and investment targets to receive payments.

The state Economic Investment Committee also voted to award a Job Development Investment Grant to the company. Under the terms of the JDIG, the company can receive 65 percent of the state withholding taxes from the new jobs for meeting annual performance targets.

If Caterpillar meets all of its goals for nine years, it could receive more than $1.6 million from the JDIG.

74 Comments

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  • bunches Feb 3, 2012

    All in all it should atleast help the local economy!

  • vgurry1 Feb 2, 2012

    haggisbasher, every story i read on WRAL you always have a comment, the problem is you have an issue with talking out the side of your face. I hope you know, you don't appear to be intellegent at all. Do you need a grant to continue your education?

  • Rebelyell55 Feb 2, 2012

    I'm sure the jobs will appeal to many in an area where the average wage is only 30K but lets not pretend that most employees will get the 40K or that even if they did, that 40K is anything other than barely a living wage.
    haggis basher
    February 2, 2012 9:03 a.m.
    ....Not sure where ya getting the numbers, but avg. is more around 23K. If they make close to 30K they're doing well for this area and if they get benefits that's great. But, a lot of them are on contract or temp. and don't get benefits and making around 12.00/hour.

  • haggis basher Feb 2, 2012

    "So the idea is to leave the jobs in Canada and move Cat's other jobs overseas, right haggy?"

    I guess you missed where I said the jobs were good news?

    "Also, I love how you use the "barely a living wage" as if it wouldn't be appealing to a U.S worker."

    And where is there any conflict there? I'm sure the jobs will appeal to many in an area where the average wage is only 30K but lets not pretend that most employees will get the 40K or that even if they did, that 40K is anything other than barely a living wage.

  • haggis basher Feb 2, 2012

    "Funny, it appears to everyone else that the dems have been dishonest"

    Everyone else? Just how did you work that out :)

  • haggis basher Feb 2, 2012

    "And Cat manufactures cars now?

    facepalm......no but the UAW certainly does......

  • gunny462 Feb 2, 2012

    "how many cars have you put together? I'm guessing....zip.
    haggis basher"

    And Cat manufactures cars now?

  • gunny462 Feb 2, 2012

    "No skills?????? and 41K is barely a living wage at any skill level! haggis basher"

    So the idea is to leave the jobs in Canada and move Cat's other jobs overseas, right haggy? Also, I love how you use the "barely a living wage" as if it wouldn't be appealing to a U.S worker.

  • gunny462 Feb 2, 2012

    "arfamr1007, I would explain but to avoid hurting yourself you really need to quit thinking about this.You are obviously an employee in HR or management in Sanford."

    "no, he is just a little less than honest. haggis basher"

    Funny, it appears to everyone else that the dems have been dishonest, you can't post links to back up any claims but can call someone who does dishonest, where's the dishonesty? lol

  • gunny462 Feb 2, 2012

    "So the jobs we lost were due to a Republicant controlled congress and Democrat Senate?????? Keep trying Gunny
    bigal02282"

    More evidence of someone who can't read.

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