Caterpillar announced Tuesday it’s moving its global headquarters to the Chicago area by the end of 2017.
CEO Jim Umpleby says, “Since 2012, about two-thirds of Caterpillar’s sales and revenues have come from outside the United States. Locating our headquarters closer to a global transportation hub, such as Chicago, means we can meet with our global customers, dealers, and employees more easily and frequently.”
CAT expects 300 executives to move to the new headquarters. Additionally, the current headquarters building will continue to be used for Caterpillar offices. The company will not be building a planned new headquarters building in downtown Peoria.
While the positions will stay in Illinois, many still expressed disappointment with the move.
Rep. Cheri Bustos reacted in a statement saying, “Hardworking men and women from Peoria have always taken great pride in knowing their community has been home to Caterpillar, and there’s no denying this news is a real blow. Two years ago, I joined with officials from across our region as Caterpillar announced its intention to expand its footprint and keep its headquarters in Peoria – so this news comes as a shock. Our local economy is tied to the success of Caterpillar. My hope is that Caterpillar will keep the promise it made today for Peoria to remain its largest manufacturing site. I stand with all Peorians in expressing my deep disappointment with this decision.”
The Peoria area has been hit hard by ongoing layoffs by the construction equipment giant in recent years, and this latest news will have a wide-ranging for the Peoria area.
“Caterpillar’s announcement today that they will not be building a new world headquarters in Peoria and instead are moving their official corporate headquarters to Chicago, along with executives and staff, is bad news for Peoria and the surrounding area,” said Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) in a statement. “There is no other way to say it; these leaders have been leaders in our community. They have invested, chaired boards and donated to our local charities.”
The Illinois Department of Employment Security recently reported that the Peoria metropolitan area, which is only slightly larger Rockford’s, lost a stunning 3000 jobs in 2016. By contrast, Rockford gained 2700 jobs over the same period, the largest job growth on a percentage basis in Illinois.