Caterpillar closing Elkader plant end of year, impacts 75 jobs - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Caterpillar closing Elkader plant end of year, impacts 75 jobs

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ELKADER (KWWL) -

UPDATE:

An unexpected announcement from Caterpillar has many in Elkader surprised.

The manufacturing company says they'll be shutting down operations here by the end of the year.

Former mayor Bob Garms sums it up best. "We're stunned," he said.

"There was no forewarning at all. I was down at city hall the other day talking to the city administrator and she did not mention anything about it at that time," he elaborated.

Employees found out Thursday.

Caterpillar says about 75 jobs will be affected. Jobs in management and production.

At the facility they make big excavator buckets that are used for digging during construction projects, but we're told this is so much more than just a job to employees.

The company has a big economic impact on the small community, even providing support during difficult times.

"When we had the flood of 08, Caterpillar had employees affected by that. Those employees were given time off with pay. Caterpillar has done fundraising for the community, they've done blood drives, job fairs. They're gonna be sorely missed," said Garms.

The company is moving operations to a facility in Wamego, Kansas. 

Caterpillar says these actions will help improve current and future operations.

A spokesperson says they know this choice is difficult for employees and their families, but steps must be taken to position the company for long-term success.

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Caterpillar will be closing its Elkader facility by the end of the year.

The manufacturing company made the announcement to employees on Thursday.

About 75 management and production positions will be affected.  

Operations are being moved to the Wamego, Kansas facility.

A spokesperson tells our coverage partners at the Telegraph Herald, this will help optimize manufacturing operations and leverage the existing support structure in order to make the best use of manufacturing capacity.

We'll have more on this story tonight on KWWL.

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