The other side of CAT's changes: More for Mapleton

By Maggie Vespa

February 7, 2012 Updated Feb 8, 2012 at 11:17 AM CST

More than 100 jobs at Caterpillar's Mossville plant may be on their way out the door.

Tuesday, the company announced it's considering outsourcing 65 jobs to an undisclosed location, as well as transporting 70 additional jobs to the company's Mapleton plant.

The move to Mapleton stems from CAT's decision to transport production of engine liners out of the Mossville factory.

But perhaps more importantly, those 70 jobs come on the heels of two years of major growth at the Mapleton plant.

A spokesperson for CAT said that back in 2009, the plant employed 300 workers. Since then, the workforce has doubled to 600.

These new jobs will make it 670.

Officials in Mapleton, a town with a population of 250, said they're not surprised the jobs keep rolling into the area.

"You've got a fairly major highway with 24 that runs through the state. You've got a railroad track that runs through there, and you've got access to the water. So there's barge traffic, and the airport is not that far away," said Ken Oedewaldt, president of the village of Mapleton.
There is no word yet on when the Mossville-to-Mapleton transfer will occur.

That same CAT spokesperson said the company plans to do its best to make sure the transferred employees are assigned jobs similar to the ones they had at Mossville but added that they can't promise everyone's duties will remain the same.

A worker at the Mapleton plant we spoke to, who asked to remain off camera, said that's no surprise.

He said the last couple of years have brought about big changes to the way most there do their job, but he added it's better to have a changing job than no job.