Caterpillar to close Aurora plant, cut 800 jobs

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Caterpillar plans to close a machine production plant in Aurora, putting about 800 hourly employees out of work, the company confirmed Friday.

The Peoria-based heavy equipment manufacturer said in January that it was considering moving production of large wheel loaders and compactors to Decatur and medium wheel loaders to North Little Rock, AK. Caterpillar will still have about 1,200 workers, including management, engineering and support jobs, in Aurora, the company said.

Read more from the Chicago Tribune report here.

According to the Herald Review, "Out of about 800 production positions, about 500 positions would likely be added to Decatur and about 150 positions would be added in North Little Rock," spokeswoman Lisa Miller said in a statement Friday afternoon. "We anticipate some will move to various suppliers and some positions would also be eliminated."

Production is expected to be fully moved from the plant by the end of 2018.

Read more from the Herald Review article here.

"Moving production from Aurora to other existing facilities allows Caterpillar to efficiently leverage manufacturing space while still preserving capacity for an upturn," Denise Johnson, a Caterpillar group president, said in a prepared statement.

Caterpillar also said recently it planned to close a manufacturing site in Belgium, affecting 2,000 employees. Their duties, too, are being moved to other Caterpillar operations.