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400 jobs in S.C. to be lost as Caterpillar closes 2 facilities

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About 400 jobs in South Carolina will be lost as part of a continuing companywide restructuring by Caterpillar Inc.

An electric power generator set packaging facility in Newberry will close, eliminating about 325 jobs. In Ridgeway, the closure of a generator set control panel assembly facility will eliminate about 75 jobs.

The work performed at those facilities will be consolidated into existing Caterpillar engine facilities in Texas, Indiana and Georgia. The consolidation is expected to begin this year and be complete in 12 to 18 months, the company said in a release.

Caterpillar spokesperson Rachel Potts said that statement served as the company’s comment on the moves.

On April 22, Caterpillar announced a $46 million decrease in revenues and a $33 million decrease in profits in the first quarter of 2016.

In Thursday’s release, the company said the S.C. closings were part of “an aggressive and significant restructuring initiative” first announced in September. Caterpillar’s ongoing actions — which included the closure of facilities in Morganton, N.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Oxford, Miss. — announced Thursday, “are resulting in substantial cost reduction for the company in these tough market conditions,” the release said.

The newest closures are expected to eliminate about 820 jobs, including 240 in Mississippi.

Since Sept. 24, Caterpillar has eliminated approximately 5,300 positions and closed about 20 facilities, representing a 7% reduction in square footage.

Contact Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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