CAT adding more jobs to local economy

By Mark Bullion

May 8, 2012 Updated May 9, 2012 at 11:08 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Big Yellow says it is looking to hire around 200 employees in the Peoria area.

The Caterpillar jobs range across a broad spectrum, from line workers in production to office management and support.

The Heartland Partnership President and CEO, Jim McConoughey, said CAT isn't the only one hiring.

He said manufacturing is taking off as well, and central Illinois employers are looking to fill another 200 specialized manufacturing jobs.
McConoughey said skill sets and experience are key but others are just as important.

"You have to be drug free, you have to be literate, you have to speak English for safety and other kinds of reasons. But the broadest reason is that they don't have some of the standard skills of showing up on time, taking their training at a lower rate, then working their way into bigger jobs," said McConoughey.

The Heartland Partnership said other sectors of the economy including education, nursing and trucking are also doing well in the Peoria area.