Henry Ford said “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Earlier this year we announced that Caterpillar will make a major investment in Spalding County, creating 200 jobs and investing $120 million in machinery equipment and plant upgrades, with a projected annual payroll in excess of $9 million. I believe Mr. Ford’s words aptly sum up this project, and set the stage for the continuing relationship and partnership between Caterpillar, the city of Griffin, and the state of Georgia.
Caterpillar, one of the world’s most recognizable and successful brands, has been in existence more than eighty years. It has grown to be the world’s largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines. In partnership with its worldwide dealer network, the company drives positive and sustainable change on every continent. Caterpillar is a leader in building the world’s infrastructure and enables progress for millions of people around the globe. The company employs more than 93,000 full-time employees worldwide and has over 480 facility locations across the globe, 50 of which are in the U.S.
Georgia takes great pride in the fact that we are one of the places Caterpillar calls home! Caterpillar initially considered three states in their search to locate a new production line. From the first meeting in late 2009 all the way through the final decision process in 2011, it was the cooperative and focused teamwork that brought about this outstanding success for Georgia. Caterpillar now employs thousands of Georgians at its multiple locations across the state – the Griffin facility alone has employees from more than 12 Georgia counties! This not only was an important project for Griffin, it was an important project for the state of Georgia, and would have been impossible without the collaboration of several important players.
David Luckie at Griffin Spalding Development Authority is a seasoned professional who knows his community and always presents the best possible scenario to move a project forward. He is creative with solutions that will best serve the company and the community. David and his volunteer board were always ahead of things on this project, calling multiple meetings and turning things around very quickly as the project sometimes required.
Caterpillar and its consultants also worked diligently with us to get all the questions answered and items addressed during the initial process. The Griffin Caterpillar leadership has a longstanding relationship with the community and is very active in the area.
Georgia’s Quick Start team hosted Caterpillar officials on more than one occasion and ensured that all training needs would be fulfilled. The initiative of the local workforce and the availability of training provided by Southern Crescent Technical College are some of the other key factors contributing to the success of this partnership.
As with any project, long term fiscal sense for the company is quite important. The Griffin Spalding Development Authority, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Quick Start, the One Georgia Authority, and DCA worked together to assure Caterpillar that Georgia and Griffin will provide the tools necessary for long-term and future growth.
It has been my pleasure to be a part of this team. We came together in the beginning, kept it together for progress, and we stayed together for success.
We look forward to the continued success of our partners at Caterpillar!
E. Jane Caraway
Project Manager, Existing Industry and Regional Recruitment
Region 4, Southwest Metro