Boonville residents concerned with Caterpillar cutbacks

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BOONVILLE - Caterpillar Inc. announced Thursday it is cutting at least 10,000 jobs through 2018, and possibly 5,000 by the end of 2016. 

Rachel Potts, a representative from the company said there are currently 400 employees spread across three Missouri locations, including the Boonville plant. Caterpillar manufactures construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines-and diesel-electric trains. 

Potts said the company has not made any decisions yet on specific layoffs. 

In a press release, Caterpillar chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman said "macro-economic challenges" are to blame for the cutbacks. 

"We are facing a convergence of challenging marketplace conditions in key regions and industry sectors - namely in mining and energy," said Oberhelmanm, "While we've already made substantial adjustments as these market conditions have emerged, we are taking even more decisive actions now. We don't make these decisions lightly, but I'm confident these additional steps will better position Caterpillar to deliver solid results when demand improves."

Boonville has faced factory cutbacks in the past with the Nordyne plant closing in 2015.

Job placement agency IMKO manager, Don Wilson said at one time Boonville had five plants open and lots of employment. 

"One-by-one they have closed down to where after Nordyne closed we now simply have Caterpillar," Wilson said. 

Wilson said it would not be good for Boonville's economy is Caterpillar closed down. He said it would be difficult to find jobs for the people who work in the factory. 

"We recognize today's news and actions taken in recent years are difficult for our employees, their families and the communities where we're located. We have a talented and dedicated workforce, and we know this will be hard for them," said Oberhelman.

Hardware store owner Todd Snapp said he's concerned about Boonville's economy. 

"I hope to see them stay here because I hate to see any industry leave Boonville, just like any town it's a trickle-down effect, it affects all of us," Snapp said.