County, city lowering jobs requirement in Caterpillar incentive deals

County, city lowering jobs requirement in Caterpillar incentive deals
August 11
05:10 2016


During the Monday, Aug. 8, regular county commissioners meeting, a change to the Caterpillar incentive agreement was approved.

Commissioners approved a change that would extend the agreement five years and add Caterpillar subsidy, Progress Rail, to the 2011 agreement for $10.1 million in incentives. It also lowers the minimum jobs the Caterpillar facility can have in order to not trigger clawback provisions from 196 to 100. This is higher than the original 50 jobs Caterpillar originally asked for.

Also that night, the finance committee of the Winston-Salem City Council approved the same change for its $13.35 million in incentives, which is expected to go to the full council on Aug. 15.

Due to a global decline in the mining industry, there’s been less demand for Caterpillar trucks, which the Winston-Salem facility makes the axles for. Caterpillar’s workforce has been reduced from 341 employees last year to 289 in January. Lowering the job requirement will let the facility not default on its incentive deals during a transitionary period as it brings in Progress Rail, which makes train parts, to bring jobs back to the facility.

Mayor Allen Joines and several council members said that though Caterpillar would have to pay the incentives back if it closed the facility, they’d much rather alter the deal and keep the jobs in the community.

“We want to thank you for not closing the doors and cutting off the lights,” City Council Member D.D. Adams told representatives of Caterpillar.

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