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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Brunswick County could be a step closer to getting a big, new employer.

Sources say Illinois-based Caterpillar has ruled out its home state to relocate a Japanese factory and 1,400 jobs, but that our area is still on the list.

School officials in New Hanover County say Caterpillar talked to them and Brunswick County educators recently to discuss their schools. Why here? In an e-mail to Peoria County, IL, Caterpillar reportedly said it wants to move the factory closer to its facility in Cary and wants better port access.

We’ve seen it before: A major corporation considering Brunswick County for a plant, meaning hundreds, even thousands of jobs. Continental Tire ended up blowing out to South Carolina, but that was then and this is now. And now, sources say Caterpillar could dig in Brunswick County in the future.

Those sources also say that state legislators from our area met with the company just last week to discuss the idea.

Another source says Savannah, GA, and Charleston, SC, are in the running, and that a decision is expected in the near future, maybe as soon as next week.

Caterpillar is known for manufacturing construction and mining equipment. Earlier this week the company told Peoria, IL, that community is out of the running for the plant because of concerns with the state’s labor markets and port access.

A spokeswoman for Peoria County told WWAY the county could not release the e-mail from the company, though a Peoria newspaper reported much of its details.

A Caterpillar spokesman told us he could not comment on the situation. He did say the location of the plant will be announced by April 1.

If the plant does come to southeastern North Carolina, it’s a decision that could reshape the economics of the Cape Fear region.

Comment on this Story

  • Mike T

    Yesterday and today Govenor Perdue announced 1000 new jobs for the Peidmont Triad in Greensboro and High Point. Lets keep our fingers crossed for Brunswick County and Caterpillar. Please remember, keep this quiet. Don’t tell Phil Berger, we dont want this Cat to run off track like the tire company blow out.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    ….who doesn’t let facts slow him down.

    South Carolina was chosen a LONNNNG time ago because they had better interstate and rail access at their location. The only thing Berger did was call a halt to the insane drive to see how far we would go in the hole to bribe Caterpillar enough to forget the far better interstate and rail access South of the border.

  • robo

    It would be great for Brunswick County to get this plant. But according to Fox News, Illinois was never seriously considered by Caterpillar due to its union dominated manufacturing base. In fact, Indiana was felt to be more in the running.
    If Perdue doesn’t screw it up, maybe NC can win a manufacturing based company for a change.

  • Guest973

    This is good news for NC but bad news for republicans….they want the unemployment rate to remain high so they can have something to bitch about, bet you won’t hear one, not even one republican say anything positive about these jobs might be coming to Brunswick County but you’ll hear everything about the tire company that went to South Carolina. Let’s hope this one will come to Brunswick County regardless of whether Gov. Perdue is in office or not….I don’t think an unemployed person will turn down a good job just because a democrat is govenor.

  • SurfCityTom

    and I think it would be great for the plant to materialize in Brunswick County, North Carolina.

    But, read the articles, including some in business publications, the Star News & The N&O.

    Just as NC was used to secure a better deal for Cooper Tire in SC, the same may be happening on this project.

    Time will tell.

    And at the end of the day, Caterpillar Management will make the decision which is in the best interests of their corporation and stockholders.

    But, here you have one Republican who apeaks in favor of the project. He also says be unemotional as this plays out.

  • Guest Redneck Across the River

    Maybe they should put it in place of the baseball stadium. At least some jobs would be realized instead of another white elephant.

  • Mike T

    With all due respect you don’t have a clue of what you speak! You must have been out of town! When the tire company gets up and running, I for one look forward to buying a set of those Caterpillar Tires.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    …but if my error entertains you, fine.

    The simple fact is that NC was non-competitive when it came to the tire plant. Trying to find how much money would make us competitive at a time when we’re running billion-dollar deficits was not a wise course of action. You should be thanking Berger….that is, assuminng that you’re not in the 48% who don’t pay taxes.


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