Caterpillar sending 1,400 jobs to Athens

Friday, Feb. 17, 2012 7:57 AM
Last updated Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012 12:43 AM
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ATHENS, Ga. — A $200 million Caterpillar plant in Athens will employ 1,400 people by 2020, state and local officials announced Friday.

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Gov. Nathan Deal posed for photos in the operator's seat of a Caterpillar mini-hydraulic excavator outside the state Capitol in Atlanta on Friday.  BRANT SANDERLIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
BRANT SANDERLIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Gov. Nathan Deal posed for photos in the operator's seat of a Caterpillar mini-hydraulic excavator outside the state Capitol in Atlanta on Friday.
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The benefits will spread out. In addition to those 1,400 factory jobs, officials said Caterpillar will indirectly create 2,800 jobs through its $57 million payroll and $39 million in increased retail spending, generating $1 million in annual sales tax revenue.

Caterpillar will break ground on the 1 million-square-foot plant in March and start production in 2013, with 800 employees initially, Athens-Clarke County said.

Wages will be at or above the median incomes of $37,596 in Clarke County and $33,746 in Oconee County. Some jobs will require only a high school diploma; others will need two-year or four-year college degrees. Athens Technical College will train workers.

The factory will make tractors for global distribution and hydraulic excavators for customers in North and South America. Caterpillar now makes those products at a facility in Japan.

The plant is will be on an 860-acre industrial parcel called the Orkin tract between U.S. Highway 78 and Georgia Highway 316 in Clarke and Oconee counties.

“Investments in high output manufacturing operations like the new Caterpillar facility to be built in Athens can be a huge benefit to the local and regional economy,” said Sharon Younger, the president of the research firm Younger Associates. “Based on the production capacity of the new plant, I estimate the total economic impact to reach $2.4 billion per year as key suppliers locate in the region and the supply chain matures.”

The Carolinas were also in the running for the plant, according to several media reports.

Walter Sprouse, the executive director of the Development Authority of Richmond County, which has a megasite in south Augusta, said he would neither confirm nor deny that Augusta was in consideration.

“This is an extraordinary day for our entire state, and a game-changer for Clarke, Oconee and surrounding counties throughout northeast Georgia,” Gov. Nathan Deal said.

Athens-Clarke and Oconee counties gave Caterpillar $30 million in tax incentives. The two counties’ industrial development authorities, which met Thursday, bought 265 acres at the Orkin tract and will transfer ownership to the company over 20 years.

The land will be taxed at 10 percent of its value for three years, rising to 100 percent over the following 17 years.

The two counties will pay to extend water and sewer lines to the property. They and the state Department of Transportation will pay for road improvements at the site.

Caterpillar employs 104,000 people worldwide, about half in North America. Sales totaled $60 billion last year, up $17 billion from 2010.

Comments (29) Add comment
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raul
5323
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raul 02/17/12 - 09:55 am
0
0
So, was Augusta even in the

So, was Augusta even in the running on this project?

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 02/17/12 - 10:20 am
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Excellent news for our state.

Excellent news for our state.

Riverman1
86909
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Riverman1 02/17/12 - 10:47 am
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0
Augusta should have gotten

Augusta should have gotten it.

raul
5323
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raul 02/17/12 - 10:57 am
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Countyman, know any

Countyman, know any background on this? Was Augusta in the running?

Riverman1
86909
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Riverman1 02/17/12 - 11:01 am
0
0
Athens? I thought one of the

Athens? I thought one of the criteria was to have an interstate within a few miles of a site?

You guessed it...Frank Stallone
83
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You guessed it...Frank Stallone 02/17/12 - 11:03 am
0
0
Sounds like being next to a

Sounds like being next to a flagship university and closer to Atlanta were more important than immediate interstate access.

countyman
20585
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countyman 02/17/12 - 12:08 pm
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Raul.. I'm not sure if

Raul.. I'm not sure if Augusta was in the running or not..

Soapy725.. I think you forgot the $115 milllion Rockwood Plant breaks ground in South Augusta this year..
http://www.concreteproducts.com/index.php/news/12996-rockwood-sites-115-...

On top of the $1 billion NSA, $35 million Bennett International, $55 million Augusta Newsprint, $40 million PCS Nitrogen, DSM purchasing former phifzer plant, $10 million Algae facility, US Battery expansion, etc..

I don't even remember the last time Augusta attracting a call center.. Tell me when Athens can attract 100 high paying IT jobs downtown..

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 02/17/12 - 12:49 pm
0
0
This makes no sense, Augusta

This makes no sense, Augusta should have gotten this. Athens is a college town, Augusta is a manufacturing hub with large numbers of skilled machinists, welders, mechanics, etc. Augusta already has the inplace labor force.

I don’t get it, someone chime in here and explain.

Riverman1
86909
Points
Riverman1 02/17/12 - 12:51 pm
0
0
Tell me when Augusta actually

Tell me when Augusta actually gets 100 high paying IT jobs downtown. That was a projected number if everything goes well over the next few years and the tiny company grows.

Riverman1
86909
Points
Riverman1 02/17/12 - 12:52 pm
0
0
By the way, the Rockwood

By the way, the Rockwood plant will only employ 80-100.

Riverman1
86909
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Riverman1 02/17/12 - 01:03 pm
0
0
One more thing about

One more thing about Rockwood's iron oxide pigment operations. At other locations, the areas surrounding their plants turned reddish to the chagrin of those in the neighborhood. Ha..you can't make this stuff up.

allhans
24008
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allhans 02/17/12 - 01:17 pm
0
0
A big rave for Caterpillar

A big rave for Caterpillar relocating the plant from Japan. NC was considered as well as their home state of Illinois. Another big rave to GA for making the deal!

Iwannakno
1533
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Iwannakno 02/17/12 - 01:17 pm
0
0
Augusta Newsprint was bought
Unpublished

Augusta Newsprint was bought out and are talking about layoffs...quit using it as an example.

seenitB4
90790
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seenitB4 02/17/12 - 02:20 pm
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0
Gov. Deal is from Gainesville

Gov. Deal is from Gainesville so is the Lt Gov.-----many of their friends/kin or $$$ folks are in North Ga.----Hello-Hello
I-85 is not far away.....This is great for Ga.:)

seenitB4
90790
Points
seenitB4 02/17/12 - 02:23 pm
0
0
http://geology.com/cities-map

http://geology.com/cities-map/georgia.shtml

Take a look & see...Athens-Gainesville area will be popping with Deal.

seenitB4
90790
Points
seenitB4 02/17/12 - 02:27 pm
0
0
Also some of these small

Also some of these small towns are desperate for jobs....just like South Ga.....I know some folks in desperate need.....I'm glad for them.

seenitB4
90790
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seenitB4 02/17/12 - 08:02 pm
0
0
The article says.. The plant

The article says..
The plant is coming to an 860-acre industrial parcel called the Orkin tract between U.S. Highway 78 and Georgia Highway 316 in Clarke and Oconee counties.

Hy 316 runs into I-85......near me btw....(BOTH)....a big article in the AJC sez that the port of Sav. also played a factor in getting these jobs...

Riverman1
86909
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Riverman1 02/17/12 - 08:15 pm
0
0
SeenIt, that's great for

SeenIt, that's great for Athens, but we have interstates here, a larger population, water and we are closer to the port. It would just be nice to pull in a MAJOR factory. It's not only Richmond Cty. Why can't Columbia County land something? Aiken has done good with Bridgestone.

seenitB4
90790
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seenitB4 02/17/12 - 08:26 pm
0
0
This time I would say

This time I would say politicians with more power put it where they wanted it...
Maybe you need to run for office & use your skills in getting things YOU want for the CSRA....:)

seenitB4
90790
Points
seenitB4 02/17/12 - 08:28 pm
0
0
What big business has

What big business has Martinez/Evans landed in the last years??

Riverman1
86909
Points
Riverman1 02/17/12 - 08:40 pm
0
0
We got a Food Lion near my

We got a Food Lion near my house that lasted about a year.

seenitB4
90790
Points
seenitB4 02/17/12 - 08:43 pm
0
0
A Food Lion...now that is

A Food Lion...now that is funny.......what would you like to come near your area.....I'll put in a good word next time I see the Gov...:)

Riverman1
86909
Points
Riverman1 02/17/12 - 08:54 pm
0
0
Ummm, tell the Gov I'd like a

Ummm, tell the Gov I'd like a reality show that I could star in and quit working. "Today, Riverman goes to Walmart, then he stops by Home Depot, then the Circle K and then he goes back to Walmart, but then he"...have to stop there.

seenitB4
90790
Points
seenitB4 02/17/12 - 08:59 pm
0
0
For some odd reason I think

For some odd reason I think you would actually make it in a reality show like that....Riverman goes to Walmart.....you once said to follow you around all day.....people wouldn't believe your life....you must hold life/death in your hands 24/7.....cia maybe.....
have to say goodnight.....seeya in am.....bushy tailed.

Riverman1
86909
Points
Riverman1 02/17/12 - 09:00 pm
0
0
Actually, since MY Foodlion

Actually, since MY Foodlion closed, I had to go back to the Bi-Lo down on Fury's Ferry again. I used to go there before this brief interlude with the Food Lion with the palm trees out front and will have to reintroduce myself to the Bi-Lo folks. It won't be too traumatic because it's kind of like going back to an old neighborhood where you know the people. Plus, there's this one woman in there... She always comes over to bag my Barefoot wine and bacon skins. I can tell you lots about her although I've spoken exactly 9 words to her in my life. I counted them once.

Riverman1
86909
Points
Riverman1 02/17/12 - 09:02 pm
0
0
SeenIt, ah, you bring me back

SeenIt, ah, you bring me back to reality. If anyone followed me around at my job for one day, I have no doubt they would say, "Dang, Riverman."

seenitB4
90790
Points
seenitB4 02/17/12 - 09:04 pm
0
0
Ya better watch out for women

Ya better watch out for women bagging wine/skins...:)
goodnight!

charlesaiken
16
Points
charlesaiken 02/18/12 - 09:17 am
0
1
They shut down a plant in

They shut down a plant in York, Pa because of the union and moved it to Mexico.

rmwardsr
525
Points
rmwardsr 02/18/12 - 10:23 am
0
0
Along with Caterpillar, that

Along with Caterpillar, that area will see an increase also in homes and new subdivisions springing up. I live in the CSRA, but have travel the Athens area extensivelly in my work, and that area is not heavily populated. I think it is great, because I am sure they will probably develop a relationship with UGA to offer internships to business and MBA candidates.

dwb619
96870
Points
dwb619 02/18/12 - 12:27 pm
0
0
Recently closed plant in

Recently closed plant in Canada, moving production to a yet to be built plant in Indiana.

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