Caterpillar begins hiring in Athens

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 8:35 AM
Last updated 6:59 PM
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Assembly workers now wanted at the Caterpillar plant in Athens.

The company intends to fill about 30 positions in coming weeks, said Caterpillar executives. Available jobs include fabricators, torque analysts, auditors, assemblers and more. Visit online at for a list of available jobs.

Depending on the position and the applicant’s experience, the pay scale ranges between $11 and $20 per hour, said Caterpillar Human Resource Manager Mike White.

The openings mark a milestone for the company in that those winning the jobs will build the first mini-hydraulic excavators coming out of the factory and are expected to set the tone for the assembly floor.

“Your first round of assemblers and factory employees, they tend to be the ones who continue on their careers and move on and become leaders,” Operations Manager Todd Henry said. “... We typically see that first round of employees as really critical for our facility.”

Henry said he expects to fill the positions with Athens area workers.

“We are looking for people in this local area, in this region,” he said. “These jobs will not necessarily have relocation packages or anything like that.”

White said the facility, which straddles the Oconee/Clarke County line, will hire throughout the year, with the third and fourth quarters being particularly heavy as the company works to hit the 300 employee mark by the end of the year.

With such first-year goals, White encouraged hopeful Caterpillar employees to keep applying even if they fail to make the first cut.

“We are looking at approximately 1,400 positions over the next five years, so it’s very important that they continue to a apply,” he said.

Henry said the factory plans to have phased-implementation, with the first round of “test machines” coming in June, round two of the test machines coming in August or September, and ready-to-sell excavators rolling off the lines in October.

White said the facility is expected to open in March, about a year after ground was broken on the $200 million project.

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soapy_725 01/16/13 - 11:20 am
Athens and the I-85 corridor

Ever drive I-85 from Alabama to NC. Amazing growth. World class growth. Ever drive I-20 from Atlanta (state capital ) to Columbia (state capital) Boring. White Line Fever. If it had not been for Fort Gordon, the Eisenhower Military Highway System would have totally bypassed Augusta. Gen Sherman was man ahead of his time, in some respects. Gen Sherman was creating the right of way for I-16 and was only a few miles off.

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