Peoria, IL -- Caterpillar announced on Tuesday that it will move its headquarters from Peoria to Chicago.
Originally, Caterpillar was planning on building new offices in Peoria, but it announced yesterday that they will be moving to Chicago because of it being a transportation hub. The headquarters will be in Chicago and they will relocate 300 employees.
This announcement was made after Chief Executive Jim Umpleby took over for CEO Doug Oberhelman after he retired. This will be a pretty big blow to Peoria, who has their city built around Cat.
While Cat has said the vast majority of the 12,000 jobs will stay in Peoria, they weren't specific as to how many jobs would remain.
What is this going to do to Peoria?
Morton Mayor Ron Rainson said, "Caterpillar has been the alpha dog in the area for a long time and hearing that the top people are moving out is a little depressing. But, I'm not going to jump up and down and cry, 'don't go, don't go.' I'm not going to criticize the decision because I'm not sure what went into it. It had been hurting for a while. They have to decide what is in the best interest of the company."
The school districts in the area don't know what to expect. At least 300 people will be leaving and they could live in one school district, causing a major impact to that school.
Many local businesses survive because of Caterpillar. They do their shipping or their fire protection inspections or their HVAC maintenance, so what will happen to those businesses? Only time will tell. With a large portion of Caterpillar staying in Peoria, those businesses might be just fine, but it could have a ripple affect that will move throughout the community. We will see.
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