(Update) ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- March 17, 2012
Construction equipment maker Caterpillar is moving fast to build its $200 million manufacturing near Athens, having started construction exactly a month after the project was announced.
At a groundbreaking ceremony Friday, local Chamber of Commerce president Doc Eldridge called the project the biggest thing to come to Athens since Herschel Walker played football at the University of Georgia.
Eldridge may have been joking. But the plant has been welcome news as Georgia tries to claw out of the recession. Within five years Caterpillar expects to employ 800 people at the factory.
The Athens-Banner Herald reports (http://bit.ly/zm4ATo ) that plant manager Todd Henry says the first 250 workers or more will be hired by next summer. The Georgia plant will manufacture mini-excavators and small tractors.
ATLANTA (AP) -- February 19, 2012
The $200 million Caterpillar manufacturing plant set to open in northeast Georgia next year is the latest in a string of economic development victories for Georgia officials.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the Illinois-based heavy equipment maker's announcement on Friday is the latest sign Georgia is trying to position itself to compete amid a U.S. manufacturing resurgence.
Chris Cummiskey, the commissioner of the Department of Economic Development, told the newspaper (http://bit.ly/AkAoMd) Georgia has boosted its effort to attract manufacturers since KIA Motors opened its plant in West Point two years ago.
He says "our pipelines are as full as they've ever been."
Among the recent developments, Georgia landed a $350 million Toyota Industries Corp. in Pendergrass that would create 320 jobs and a new Home Depot call center in Cobb County.