by Keith Barber

Items from across the Triad and beyond’

Caterpillar brings 510 jobs to Winston-Salem

Caterpillar, the largest maker of construction and mining equipment, will add Winston-salem to its global family, Gov. Beverly Perdue announced during a ceremony at Forsyth Tech on July 30. “Today, my friends is a really big red-letter day in all bold capital letters,” Perdue said to an audience that included state and local dignitaries. The benefits to the Winston-Salem economy are as big as the components Caterpillar will build in its proposed 850,000 square-foot facility for the machining, assembly, testing and painting of axle assemblies for large mining trucks, Perdue said.

Caterpillar will invest $426 million in the new plant over the next five years while creating 392 permanent jobs and 120 contract jobs. “This is one of the most biggest and most successful companies in the world… and they really are good to their workers,” Perdue said. Caterpillar currently has more than 1,000 employees in North Carolina. The city of Winston-salem competed against Spartanburg, sC, and Montgomery, Ala., for the facility. The Winston-salem City Council and the Forsyth County Commission collaborated on an economic incentive package of $23.5 million for Caterpillar. The local economic incentives were combined with state grants from the Job Development Investment Grant program and One North Carolina Fund to help lure the Fortune 500 company to Forsyth County.

“This decision validates Winston-Salem and Forsyth County as an effective and strong location for future economic development projects,” Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines said. “We’re committed to growing our economy, and today is a bold and significant step in that movement.”

Perdue signs safe schools act

A bill that requires superintendents to report teachers and school administrators that have been recommended for dismissal and resign before the disciplinary process is complete to state authorities was signed into law by Gov. Beverly Perdue during a July 30 ceremony on the campus of Forsyth Tech. “This piece of legislation stops teachers who you really wouldn’t want teaching your child for all kinds of reasons who have some kind of fairly strong accusations or proof against them from county or systems,” Perdue said. “This is really a strong piece of legislation about keeping our children safe and protecting our children from predators and molesters…. This is a big deal for kids in North Carolina.”