Caterpillar announced closure of Beckley plant - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Caterpillar announced closure of Beckley plant

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Caterpillar Inc. announced on Monday, Nov. 4 that it will move production of highwall miners from Beckley to Houston, Penn. Caterpillar Inc. announced on Monday, Nov. 4 that it will move production of highwall miners from Beckley to Houston, Penn.
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BECKLEY -

UPDATE: 

Caterpillar Inc. is a company known for making heavy equipment in all shapes and sizes. They have announced they will be moving out operations out of Beckley.   One of the company's major products is production of a high wall miner.  Some believe this decision shows signs of a suffering mining industry in the mountain state.

"I am not really seeing a bright future in the coal mine.  It may pick up it may not pick up," Brandon Williams of Pax said.

About 40 employees work at the facility and 59News wanted to know what will happen to these workers.  In a release from the company that officials said the employees will be offered a severance package and transitional support.  It states the reason for taking the action was the "best position the company for long-term success."

Tommy Dickens who is from the heart of coal country has a 19-year old grandson searching for a job in the mines.  If his grandson joins the mining industry he will be the third generation in his family to work underground.  He said if more businesses choose to pull out of the mountain state it could mean major problems for our economy.

"I hate to see that.  That is one thing about the coal mines You know you get the jobs there, you work, you buy a home, you buy a car and next time you know you are laid off," Dickens said.
The production of high wall miners will be moved to the company's Houston, Pa. plant by the middle of the year in 2014.    

This is not the first time this year that Caterpillar moved production out of the area. Earlier this year, Caterpillar also shifted production from its Tazewell, Virginia, underground mining facility to the plant in Houston, Pennsylvania.

The Governor's Office had this to say: "Our natural resources are and will continue to remain a foundation of our economy—even as we continue to diversify and create new opportunities on multiple fronts.  While economic conditions have been tough across the country, West Virginia continues to work hard to bring more jobs to the state.  West Virginians who have been displaced are encouraged to contact Workforce West Virginia as there are many options they can provide to assist them." –Gov. Tomblin.


The company known for making heavy equipment in all shapes and sizes will be moving out of Beckley.

On Monday, Nov. 4, Caterpillar announced it will be closing its underground mining plant in Beckley. The facility makes highwall miners. The closure will affect about 40 people, according to a news release from the company. In that release, officials with the company also said the employees will be offered a severance package and transitional support.

"We value our employees' contributions, and these actions are not a reflection of them, but rather the result of a need to make our underground mining business more efficient and competitive," said Barbara Cox, with Caterpillar Inc.'s media relations.

The reason for taking the action was the "best position the company for long-term success." 

The production of highwall miners will be moved to the company's Houston, Pa. plant by the middle of the year in 2014. This is not the first time this year that Caterpillar moved production out of the area. Earlier this year, Caterpillar also shifted production from its Tazewell, Va., underground mining facility to the plant in Houston, Pa.