Posted: 06/08/2016 By: Dr. Andrea Daniel
Tagged: Caterpillar , manufacturer , economic development
Caterpillar Inc. is a manufacturer and assembler of heavy construction equipment and has been in operation in Athens-Clarke County for three years. Their total employment has reached more than 1,700 employees from an eight country region; exceeding the estimated recruitment projections by two years. Caterpillar has invested $149M in the Athens-Clarke County facility including buildings, grounds, infrastructure and equipment. Their philosophy from day one has been to source as much local business as possible – with more than 65 Georgia regional and local suppliers and vendors being selected as direct material, indirect material and/or service providers.
Caterpillar thrives through outstanding leadership and dedication of its team members. Caterpillar is committed to its employees and to continued growth through training and education. This training component keeps employees up-to-date with changing technology and manufacturing methods. Caterpillar team members understand the latest in manufacturing efficiency techniques.
The company is deeply involved in community programs and exemplifies the trait of good corporate citizenship as evidenced by their support of local community activities. The Jeannette Rankin Foundation, Salvation Army, Adopt-A-Highway, and local blood drives are just a few areas of participation. The company is frequently involved with many charity events and their employees are also encouraged to do the same. The largest nonprofit impact for Caterpillar is the United Way of Northeast Georgia partnership. This campaign for this year, named “The Power of Ten,” has increased giving by nearly 10 percent. In addition to the financial giving of $132,000 in 2015, Athens employees volunteered more than 1,400 hours on the United Way Day of Caring. This required shutting down the plant for eight hours to give employees the opportunity to serve.
Caterpillar is a huge supporter of education. Locally, Caterpillar provides Foundation grants for Action, Inc., Athens Career Academy, and the Madison County School System welding program. Athens Technical College receives support from Caterpillar for the “Bridge to Success” initiative which is a program that offers career training in Commercial Truck Driving and Manufacturing Operations areas.
Caterpillar partners with Athens Technical College to receive strong support from college job fairs. Company employees also obtain WorkKeys testing through the college. Numerous graduates of Athens Technical College also gain employment with Caterpillar.
Due to their positive economic impact, commitment to workforce development and community leadership, Caterpillar was awarded the 2016 Manufacturer of the Year for the State of Georgia in the large-sized category (more than 500 employees) on April 21, 2016 in Atlanta.