VICTORIA, TX-Caterpillar Inc. will build its new hydraulicexcavator manufacturing facility in this South Texas town of 90,000residents. The Peoria, IL-based company, which manufacturesconstruction and mining equipment, as well as diesel and naturalgas engines and industrial gas turbines, will break ground on the600,000-square-foot facility next month.

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Caterpillar received $1.18 million from the Texas EnterpriseFund (TEF) for the expansion. The Fortune 100 company is committedto creating 238 jobs through the TEF investment, and expects togenerate more than 500 jobs total. The company will also generatemore than $100 million in capital investment with thisexpansion.

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"Based on our comprehensive review of possible locations,Victoria's proximity to our supply base, access to ports and othertransportation, as well as the positive business climate in Texasmade this the ideal site for this project," according to astatement from Gary Stampanato, Caterpillar vice president withresponsibility for excavators.

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“This would be a huge deal for any community, but is especiallya huge deal for a city the size of Victoria,” says Lee Swearingen,president of Coldwell Banker Commercial – The Ron Brown Co. “Wehave an existing base of petrochemical companies, as well as oiland gas-related companies, that complement Caterpillar’soperations.”

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Known as the South Texas Crossroads, Victoria is one of theoldest cities in Texas. Highway 77, 87 and 59 (the future I-69) allintersect in the city, which serves as a cultural and economic hubfor seven surrounding counties.

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Victoria is in the geographic center of Texas and within atwo-hour drive of Austin, Houston and San Antonio. The city wasdesignated by the U. S. Congress as an intersecting point for twoproposed interstate projects to the Rio Grande Valley and theMexico border.

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The Victoria Barge Canal is a 35 mile long waterway that con

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