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The Week in Review
Looking to the Future
Last week, I went on a tour of the Caterpillar (CAT) plant in
South Milwaukee. I toured the plant when I was first elected to the Assembly
but quite a bit has changed in three years.
Plant manager, Tim Young led my staff and I on a tour of the sprawling 76
acre property, housing different parts of the plant located at 1100
Milwaukee Ave. Shovels and draglines for surface mining are among the
primary products produced in South Milwaukee. Tim explained the massive
technological shift taking place in the mining industry and how that change
is impacting the plant in South Milwaukee.
In 2012, the mining industry saw a drastic decline across the globe that led
to a reduced number of jobs company-wide at Caterpillar. The company is in
the process of creating efficiencies and investing in plants all over the
country that will allow them to remain competitive and keep jobs at their
existing locations including South Milwaukee.
According to Tim, jobs in manufacturing are sometimes thought of as dirty,
hard-labor performed in a dark warehouse similar to a dungeon. However, that
picture has drastically changed with new technological advances in mining
Pictured, is a new state of the art
tool that produces gears that help operate machines in mining productions
across the globe.
The machine is controlled by a computer with software capability of reading
tool design. Once the design is digitally entered the machine performs the
work cutting the tool to the exact dimensions specified by the design plan.
Technology like this is changing the future of mining production.
Manufacturing plays an important role in Wisconsin’s economy, bringing in
millions of dollars in revenue and providing jobs to families throughout the
state. Caterpillar has held a presence in South Milwaukee since 2011 when
the mining company acquired Bucyrus. Prior
to that, Bucyrus Foundry and Manufacturing Company held its headquarters in South Milwaukee for more than 100
years after moving from Ohio in 1893.
The mining industry is still sluggish but Tim and others at Caterpillar are
hopeful for the future of CAT in South Milwaukee. Employing more than 200
people, we hope the plant will continue to be an important member of our
Over the next several months, I will continue touring businesses throughout
our district to give you an inside look at the companies that play an
important role in our community.
Have a great week!