This Texas Caterpillar Plant Manufactured Its First Machine Since Harvey and Had a Celebration

By September 22, 2017Shopfloor Main

It’s been almost a month since Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast and damaged homes, businesses and communities across the region. Caterpillar’s manufacturing facility in Victoria, Texas, was in the storm’s path.

The plant’s management moved swiftly to ensure the safety of its nearly 700 employees and keep lines of communications open, and the facility survived the storm with minor damage.

After the hurricane, the employees returned to work and were welcomed back by friends from neighboring Caterpillar facilities with lunch and smiling faces:

Victoria employees coming back to work was an important first step in the return to normalcy. Managers warmly greeted employees at the entrances as they returned to work, and a representative from the Caterpillar Employee Assistance Program was on site all week to provide support to employees and their families and serve as a link to much-needed resources…

In a show of Texas solidarity, employees from other facilities in San Antonio, Schertz and Seguin drove to Victoria to serve lunch and help welcome employees back after the storm. The Victoria team was grateful for a hot, provided meal and a chance to talk with folks from a neighboring facility.

“Without a doubt, the last week and a half has been extremely challenging,” Victoria Facility Manager Art Strother told the team. “We know there will be challenges ahead of us. There will be rebuilding here at Caterpillar … and in our community and our neighborhoods.”

It didn’t take long for the facility to get back to normal. Just days later, on Friday, September 8, the entire team assembled outside to pose for a picture with a Cat® 336F Excavator: the first machine the facility had constructed since the hurricane:

Just before quitting time on Friday, September 8, the nearly 700 workers of the Victoria, Texas, Caterpillar plant gathered outside to mark a special milestone.

With hugs, high fives and light-hearted chatter, they posed as a group around a Cat® 336F Excavator with the distinction of being the facility’s first post-Hurricane Harvey completed machine. More than that, it was a symbol for these proud Caterpillar employees of resilience, solidarity and hope.

Caterpillar’s story is just one of many showing Gulf Coast manufacturers’ resilience in the face of Hurricane Harvey as communities bounce back, help each other and work together to return to normal.

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