Construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar says it will close two of its facilities in the Midlands, affecting 400 jobs.
The Illinois-based company announced the cuts Thursday as part of a larger scale-down as Caterpillar tries to become more efficient with the reduced demand for in the construction market. The company has warned since last fall that the cuts were likely.
One plant in Newberry that makes diesel generators and a second in the Fairfield County town of Ridgeway that assembles control panels are among five sites nationwide that will shut down. 325 positions in Newberry will eventually be eliminated along with 75 more in Ridgeway. Work will shift to plants in other states, including Georgia.
The closure will phase out over time before finishing by the end of next year. A company spokesperson said some employees will have the chance to relocate, but most will get severance packages.