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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina hopes to be picked as the site for a new plant planned by heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. that will employ about 500 employees and contract workers.

An official announcement on the company's decision is expected Friday afternoon.

Sites in Forsyth County, Spartanburg, S.C., and Montgomery, Ala., have been under consideration for the proposed $426 million factory. A Caterpillar spokeswomen declined Friday to comment on the decision.

Earlier this month, North Carolina officials approved tax breaks and other incentives worth up to $75 million to lure the facility to the state.

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