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This week, the first 55 employees moved in to Caterpillar’s brand new facility in Athens, Georgia, reports to the Athens Banner-Herald.
The 850,000-square-foot facility, which received kudos in President Barack Obama’s address, shifts the assembly of its small bulldozers and mini hydraulic excavators from Sagami, Japan to Athens.
Ground broke for the new facility just one year ago.
CAT began hiring assembly line workers for the new plant in January and will hire more than 1,400 people over the next five years. The company expects 300 employees to be moved in by the end of this year and the plant will ramp up hires as it gets closer to full operation.
Officials in the area estimate the plant will bring an additional 2,800 jobs as distributors relocate. An economic impact between $1.4 billion and $2.4 billion is also expected.