Gov. Tom Corbett said he's glad Caterpillar Inc. has decided to keep its York Distribution Center open with plans for growth.

Corbett toured the facility Tuesday at 600 Memory Lane in Springettsbury Township, where he met several of the center's 200 employees and learned how Caterpillar plans to modernize the 1.1 million square-foot property.

With a dozen distribution center employees standing behind him, Corbett said Caterpillar is an example of the state's efforts to keep businesses within the state and to secure employment for its residents.

Companies like Caterpillar provide family-sustaining jobs, he said.

Also, Caterpillar's modernization plans mean the company is committed to remaining in York, which means jobs for future generations, Corbett said.

Governor Tom Corbett visited Caterpillar’s York Distribution Center on Tuesday.
Governor Tom Corbett visited Caterpillar's York Distribution Center on Tuesday. (Bil Bowden)

Caterpillar's plans show the confidence the company has in the local workforce, which is part of Pennsylvania's larger quantity of quality workers, the governor said.

"Our workforce is the engine that is driving our state to economic prosperity," he said. "The tenacity and dedication of our workers is one of the reasons we've been able to, over the last two and a half years, create more than 130,000 new private-sector jobs."

Caterpillar's presence in the national and global market also shows that Pennsylvania is a business-friendly state with a workforce able to generate high-quality products to be distributed around the world.

Caterpillar recently announced it will purchase and modernize the property it has been leasing for 13 years.

The company also said it was working with state officials to secure help with funding for the process.

The state Department of Community and Economic Development has offered close to a $6.44 million funding package to Caterpillar Inc. for the company's York Distribution Center project.

The state funding offer consists of two grants and two low-interest loans the company could apply for, Lyndsay Frank, the state's DCED deputy press secretary, has said.

Caterpillar's multi-year modernization plan includes updating the building's infrastructure, technology and operating systems and equipment.

"Thank you for staying in York," Corbett said after the center Tuesday's tour. "I look forward to 2015 to seeing the completion of the renovations. We like to see growth in York County and all throughout Pennsylvania."

Caterpillar opened the parts distribution center in 1953.

The company had considered closing the center.