Construction and mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar last week indicated that it would close a Chicago-area factory in coming months and lay off about 800 workers.
About 500 of those workers produce large loaders and compactors in Aurora, Ill., and another 150 make medium-wheel loaders, according to The Wall Street Journal. The large-wheel production will reportedly be moved to Decatur, Ill., while the medium-wheel work will shift to North Little Rock, Ark., by the end of 2018.
Caterpillar officials told the Journal that the decision would allow the company "to efficiently leverage manufacturing space while still preserving capacity for an upturn.” Caterpillar was hit by sluggish mining and construction industries worldwide in recent years. The company last week announced 2,000 layoffs amid plans to close a factory in Belgium.
About 1,200 engineering and product support positions will remain in offices in Aurora. Caterpillar is in the process of moving its headquarters to Chicago from its longtime home of Peoria, Ill.
The manufacturer is also dealing with a federal investigation of its accounting practices and foreign subsidiaries. Authorities raided its headquarters and two other offices last month, and the company retained former U.S. attorney general William Barr in an effort to address the controversy.