Caterpillar plans to bring 1,400 jobs to Seguin, TX.

WELCOME to Seguin Caterpillar!

Caterpillar broke ground January 21st!  The Caterpillar plant will be located on Hwy 46. . .South of I-10 near Texas Lutheran University and the beautiful new Guadalupe Valley Electric Co-op Office.  We are expecting the first phase of the plant to be ready in 2010 and the facility to be running full speed by 2011.

Caterpillar plans to bring 1,400 jobs to Seguin, TX.

Caterpillar Inc., a heavy-equipment giant, is consolidating its assembly, paint and testing operations from Illinois and South Carolina to Seguin.   Seguin was competing with Mexico and South Caroline for the new facility.  Way to go Seguin Economic Development, Mayor, City, and all of those involved to help Caterpillar choose our city and Central Texas.

“The location really just fits our long-term strategic plans,” said Kate Kenny, a spokeswoman for Caterpillar. “About 70 percent of the engines that will be manufactured there will be exported, and Seguin gives us great access to ports and interstates and other hubs.”

Seguin’s proximity to ports and major cities attracted Caterpillar.  The new I-130 toll road will also add to Seguin’s logistic attributes!  I-130 is going to come out on I-10 at the former weigh station area East of town.

The Company will build the plant with help from Texas Enterprise Fund.  The state’s offering is the biggest Texas Enterprise Fund investment this year.  To qualify for money from the 5-year-old Texas Enterprise Fund, companies have to be moving to the state or conducting a significant in-state expansion. Eligibility also depends on whether the company can demonstrate a significant economic impact and local support.  The state of Texas is investing $10 million.  In return Caterpillar must commit to creating a certain amount of jobs within a certain time frame.

“This investment in Caterpillar will not only create high-paying jobs for Texans, but will strengthen our state’s overall economic situation and further diversify our state’s economic makeup,” Govenor Rick Perry said in a statement.

Caterpillar is a manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and gas turbines.  Caterpillar has been in the process of consolidating and restructuring their business.  This has included job cuts and closing of facilities.  “We are basically restructuring, and Seguin is now part of that,” Kenny said. Caterpillar — which employs about 112,000 people worldwide, excluding contract workers — had said in June that it planned to open a new manufacturing facility.

After Thursday’s announcement, Seguin officials were boasting about being a manufacturing center.  “We have the largest percentage of industrial-related jobs — per capita-wise — in the state of Texas,” Mayor Betty Ann Matthies said.  Caterpillar’s 1,400 jobs would only add to that reputation.  Caterpillar could become the largest employer in Seguin — population 25,091 — that already claims about 10,000 manufacturing jobs.  Matthies said workers for the new plant also will be drawn from neighboring communities.  “It’s not just helping our community,” she said. “It’s helping the whole region.”

Other major manufacturers in Seguin include Continental AG (formerly Motorola), Minigrip/Zip-Pak (reclosable bags), Hexcel Corp. (aircraft components), Alamo Industrial Group Inc. (industrial mowers), CMC Steel and Tyson Foods Inc.

Matthies credited the state incentives as well as a local package that included tax breaks from the city, county and school district in helping attract the plant.

The breaks include a 10-year abatement on property taxes; plus, the city, county and school district don’t tax manufactured goods that are in the plants fewer than 30 days. Local officials also will build streets and sewer lines to the plant site inside the city limits.  “It’s an unusual circumstance when you can get a city, a county and a school district working together,” Matthies said.

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