Caterpillar opens new Arkansas factory

Hiring 600

Caterpillar Inc. has formally opened a $140 million road grader plant in central Arkansas, a factory that the company built even though the economy went through the floor after it announced its intentions.

Caterpillar laid off 24,000 workers worldwide last year, but the North Little Rock plant stayed on course. Company officials say highway projects funded by stimulus money helped build demand for the new road graders.The factory in North Little Rock is operating in a converted videotape and DVD facility. Caterpillar received $3 million in state incentives to help the project along.

The company said the average wage for workers at the plant would be $21 per hour.

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