Text of official release from Athens-Clarke and Oconee Counties (see details of the deal in the PDF under the photos):
Governor Nathan Deal, Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson, and Oconee County Chairman Melvin Davis announced on Friday, February 17, 2012 the selection of Athens-Clarke and Oconee Counties as the location of a Caterpillar plant to be built on the Orkin property near the intersection of old US 29 and Georgia 316.
“We are excited about our two counties coming together to support this project because of the opportunity it brings to enhance our local industrial base,” said Mayor Denson.
“This project brings back some of the traditional manufacturing jobs we have lost over the past decades and gives a significant number of people in our community and the region new job opportunities,” she continued.
Chairman Davis said, “This exciting project not only enhances the tax base in both Oconee and Clarke Counties, but this cooperative effort between our
two counties and the state enhances economic development prospects and job opportunities for this entire region. The tax base diversification and job
creation from this project positions us to withstand future economic downturns.”
With 2011 sales and revenues of $60.1 billion, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and
natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The new facility will become Caterpillar’s global source for small track-type tractors. For mini hydraulic excavators, the new facility will provide completed machines for customers in North and South America. Those machines are now made at another Caterpillar facility in Japan.
Georgia competed with multiple states across the country for this project. Two of the factors the company considered when selecting a location for the facility were a strong workforce to support a manufacturing environment and a high quality of life for their employees. The strong cooperative partnership between the two county governments and the State government was also noted as a key factor in attracting Caterpillar to the Athens-Clarke and Oconee County area.
The new facility will be built on approximately 265 acres of property near the intersection of Atlanta Hwy and Ga. 316, commonly known as the Orkin site. The property straddles the Athens-Clarke and Oconee County line with a portion also resting within the City of Bogart. The entire 860-acre Orkin property is bound by Georgia Highway 316, US 78, Atlanta Highway, and the City of Bogart. This subject undeveloped property was designated for industrial development in the early 1980s and has attracted the attention of several large project planners since that time.
The company intends to break ground in March 2012 and begin production in 2013. The company will employ an initial workforce during the first five
years of approximately 800 employees and escalate to approximately 1,400 employees by 2020. The average wages for these jobs will be competitive
with or greater than the current average wages in Athens-Clarke County of $37,596 and Oconee County of $33,748.