Caterpillar to shut down five plants, 670 jobs affected

| Tuesday, February 02, 2016

As part of global restructuring and cost reduction efforts announced last September, Caterpillar Inc. has announced that it will close five plants. The closures will eliminate approximately 670 jobs, according to a Caterpillar statement. Facility consolidations, closures and job cuts will affect workforces in seven states and China.

The Caterpillar plant in East Peoria, Ill., will consolidate manufacturing operations to other facilities and outside suppliers. The change in operations, which will begin this year and end in late 2018, will affect 230 jobs. An additional 120 employees will be placed on an indefinite layoff due to low demand for mining products. Both office and production positions are affected by the move.

Caterpillar’s facility in Prentice, Wis., will move production to facilities in LaGrange, Ga., and Victoria, Texas. Approximately 220 jobs in Prentice will be eliminated. Employment in the Georgia and Texas facilities is not expected to be affected. The Prentice facility transition is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Facilities in Santa Fe, N.M., and Thomasville, Ga., will also be closed. The Santa Fe facility expects about 50 jobs to be affected by the closure. Caterpillar estimates that approximately 200 jobs will be impacted at the Thomasville facility. However, operations for the two facilities will be consolidated into the facility located at Pontiac, Ill. Approximately 160 jobs will be added to the Pontiac plan as a result.

Operations at a plant in Tongzhou, Jiangsu province, in China will move to the facility in Aurora, Ill. Although 40 jobs at the China plant will be affected, there is no expected impact in employment at the Aurora location.

Other consolidation and transfer efforts are planned, but are not expected to affect employment. The recent closures and layoffs are estimated to lower operating costs amid “challenging marketplace conditions,” according to a Caterpillar statement.

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