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Caterpillar expanding in Sumter County

$20 million investment and more than 80 new jobs expected over two years

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Caterpillar Inc., manufacturer of the yellow and black iconic construction equipment, announced today plans to expand its hydraulic facility in Sumter’s Black River Airport Industrial Park. The $20 million investment is expected to create more than 80 new jobs over two years, once the expansion is completed.

“We are pleased to be increasing operations at our Sumter facility,” said Brian Mezei, Sumter facility manager for Caterpillar. “We have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the Sumter community and appreciate the continued support of the state and our local Sumter County partners.”

Caterpillar’s expansion will nearly triple the facility’s footprint, from 100,000 square feet to 275,000 square feet. The facility currently produces small hydraulic cylinders used in a variety of Cat products. The additional capacity will bring the production of large hydraulic cylinders from the company’s Joliet, Illinois, facility to Sumter. Once the expansion is completed, the Sumter facility will be the primary source for small and large hydraulic cylinders for North and South America. The expansion in Sumter will allow the Joliet facility to focus on increasing production for other components currently produced in Joliet.  

“It’s always great to see one of our existing businesses decide to grow its presence in South Carolina. Caterpillar is a world class company, and we celebrate their decision to further invest in our state and create more than 80 new jobs in Sumter County,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

Last year, South Carolina recruited more than $4.7 billion in investment and more than 13,000 new jobs in the manufacturing sector.

“Caterpillar has been a part of South Carolina’s business community for years, and today’s announcement strengthens their commitment to our state. We are thrilled that Caterpillar is expanding in South Carolina, furthering our state’s manufacturing and exports momentum,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.

Sumter Development Board Chairman Greg A. Thompson said the company and the community share qualities. “When you think about Caterpillar, you think about things like toughness, reliability and quality,” said Sumter Development Board Chairman Greg A. Thompson. “In that regard, I think Sumter and Caterpillar have a lot in common. We’re known for being a reliable, business-friendly community and our people offer the kind of quality workforce a company like Caterpillar needs to continue to be the world’s number one manufacturer of construction and mining equipment.”

“Everyone gets excited when new companies announce, and so do I. But I take special satisfaction when I hear about our existing industries expanding because it proves we’re doing the right things to make our community hospitable to business,” said Sumter Mayor Joe McElveen. “On behalf of City Council, we welcome these new investments from our old friends and look forward to even greater things in the future.”

“Caterpillar's expansion is the result of the increased demand for the top quality products it produces. The expansion shows that Caterpillar recognizes Sumter's workforce is highly-trained and possesses the technical skills and knowledge to meet this demand,” said Sumter County Council Chairman Gene Baten.

Baten added that county and city councils, Sumter economic development and the Sumter Smarter Growth Initiative continue to be successful in bringing jobs to Sumter County. “This is further proof that when you invest in yourself, others will invest in you,” he said.

Work on the expansion will begin immediately and is scheduled to be completed by the fourth quarter in 2012. Hiring is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2012. Positions will be posted on the company’s recruiting website ( as they become available.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a rural infrastructure grant worth $200,000 for the county to help with site preparation. Job development credits will also be available when hiring targets are met. readySC will provide training for potential workers.