ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Construction equipment maker Caterpillar is moving fast to build its $200 million manufacturing plant near Athens, having started construction exactly a month after the project was announced.
At a groundbreaking ceremony Friday, local Chamber of Commerce president Doc Eldridge called the project the biggest thing to come to Athens since Herschel Walker played football at the University of Georgia.
Eldridge may have been joking. But the plant has been welcome news as Georgia tries to claw out of the recession. Within five years Caterpillar expects to employ 800 people at the factory.
The Athens-Banner Herald reports (http://bit.ly/zm4ATo ) that plant manager Todd Henry says the first 250 workers or more will be hired by next summer. The Georgia plant will manufacture mini-excavators and small tractors.