Owatonna Caterpillar branch shutting down in March

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Caterpillar Inc. announced it will close its production plant in Owatonna, a plan which will cut 100 jobs in the area.

The company announced that production on Caterpillar's mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and diesel turbines will stop at the plant on March 1, 2013, according to Kare 11.

President of Caterpillar's Forest Products Division John Carpenter said he regrets this decision and understands the impact it will have on the community, reports Kare 11.

"We value our employees' contributions, and these actions are not a reflection of them, but rather the result of a need to make our business more efficient and competitive," he said.

While some engineering work will remain in Owatonna, Caterpillar's forestry production will move to other plants in Wisconsin and Georgia, reports WCCO news.

Caterpillar notified employees Thursday of the planned closure, according to WCCO news. Those affected will receive severance packages and the company says it will work with other agencies to find them new positions.

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