Consolidating production

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EAST PEORIA, IL – FEBRUARY 12: President Barack Obama speaks to workers at a Caterpillar plant about creating jobs and stimulating the economy February 12, 2009 in East Peoria, Illinois. Stung by the global recession, Caterpillar announced in January it would cut more than 20,000 jobs. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

AURORA — Caterpillar announced Friday it will close its facility in Aurora, consolidating its machine production to other facilities.

Large wheel loaders and compactors will now be made in Decatur, while medium wheel loaders will be made in North Little Rock, Arkansas. 

“Moving production from Aurora to other existing facilities allows Caterpillar to efficiently leverage manufacturing space while still preserving capacity of an upturn,” says Denise Johnson, Caterpillar group president of Resource Industries. “Supporting impacted employees through this transition is a top priority, as we know these actions are difficult for our talented and dedicated people.”

Caterpillar plans to keep an office in Aurora for engineering and product support work. The transition is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.

Caterpillar says about 800 hourly production employees in Aurora will be affected by the closure. About 500 of those positions will likely be added to the Decatur facility, while about 150 may be added in North Little Rock. Caterpillar anticipates some will move to various suppliers and some positions will be eliminated. The company adds that impacted employees are welcome to apply for open positions at other CAT facilities.

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