Some of the first economic news of the year is good news for central Arkansas. Caterpillar says it’s moving its North American manufacturing of road grader vehicles to Arkansas.
The welcome mat is rolled out for Caterpillar. Riggs Rental is a dealer for the big machines that Arkansans are going to help build. The machines help build roads. And now motor graders will help build central Arkansas jobs.
"I’ll cut to the chase; I’m from Caterpillar, Earth Moving Machinery Company," Jon Harrison said.
Caterpillar says this 700,000 square foot facility, once home to the Deluxe DVD plant, fits their needs and will bring in 600 jobs.
"In this case mayor Hays and the folks in North Little Rock did their part, they stepped up," Governor Mike Beebe said.
The state provided 3 million taxpayer dollars to help close the deal. Motor graders are often called road graders. Caterpillar says that part of their business is moving here from Illinois but the vast majority of new employees will be local.
"We want people that are totally customer focused, passionate about what they're doing and live those values everyday, that's the real key," Harrison said.
Here's one of the big machines in Little Rock a new one goes for $200,000 to $400,000.
Caterpillar won't say what other states wanted the plant or how much workers will earn. But the North Little Rock chamber tells FOX16 Arkansas beat out Mississippi and wages will range from $12 to $14 an hour. "Our vision, plain and simple, is that this new facility will be the benchmark facility for Caterpillar in everyway," Harrison said.
Hiring for the plant starts this summer. The first road grader should come off the assembly line early next year.
Caterpillar is an international company. It has manufacturing plants in Brazil, Asia and Illinois. Caterpillar started operating in 1931.
To apply for jobs visit cat.com/careers