Caterpillar to Shut Down Attachments Manufacturing Complex in Kansas

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Updated Jun 18, 2024
building shot Caterpillar sign Wamego Kansas attachments campus
Caterpillar's Wamego complex has about 300 employees.

Caterpillar has announced plans to close its attachments manufacturing complex in Wamego, Kansas.

The location produces excavator and wheel loaders buckets, dozer blades, and brackets and hooks for various attachments, such as shears, grapples and hammers, according to Caterpillar. It employs about 300 people, according to local industry organizations.

The plant is scheduled to be shuttered in mid-2025. Caterpillar announced the closing to employees June 6 “to better utilize capacity and ensure alignment with the company’s long-term strategy,” according to a company statement. “… The company will support employees during this transition.”

The Wamego campus spans 45 acres and has 10 buildings with a combined 258,000 square feet. In 2019, the plant had more than 450 employees. Jobs include welding, CNC machining, fabrication and forming, paint and assembly. About 90% of its products are shipped to customers in North America, according to Caterpillar.

The news follows a previous announcement that the company plans to invest $90 million at its facilities in Texas to build its new C13D engine.

Local economic and political leaders in Wamego expressed disappointment at losing one of the city’s largest employers.  

“This news has undoubtedly caused significant concern among our community, as Caterpillar has been an integral part of our local economy and a key source of livelihood for many families,” reads a joint statement from the Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation, City of Wamego, Pottawatomie County, Wamego Chamber of Commerce, and Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce.

The statement pledges to help the affected employees, as well as try to attract companies to replace the jobs.

“We understand the uncertainty and anxiety this situation brings, but we remain hopeful and resolute in our efforts to turn this challenge into an opportunity for growth and renewal,” the statement says. “Our commitment to the well-being of our community is unwavering, and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our community emerges from this stronger and more resilient.”

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