Texas Strong, Victoria Proud

September 19, 2017

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.

Just two weeks earlier, Harvey, a Category 4 hurricane, had battered the Texas coast with extreme rainfall and winds of 130 mph. Tens of thousands of residents evacuated their homes; the ones who stayed behind suffered through widespread power outages, water shortages and flooding, not to mention billions of dollars of damage to homes, businesses and critical infrastructure.

The Caterpillar Victoria facility survived the storm with minor damage. In the hurricane’s immediate aftermath, ensuring the safety of all employees and keeping open lines of communication remained the team’s number one goal.

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.

TEXAS STRONG - ACT OF SOLIDARITY

“Welcome back,” Victoria Facility Manager Art Strother told assembled employees at a special meeting to kick off the day. “Without a doubt, the last week and a half has been extremely challenging. We know there will be challenges ahead of us. There will be rebuilding – here at Caterpillar ... and in our community and our neighborhoods.”

“I am deeply optimistic that the Victoria facility will make it through the challenges ahead and come out stronger for it. We are Caterpillar strong; we are Victoria strong. Thank you for your care and your commitment to each other.”     

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.

“We very much appreciate this,” Strother said. “To have our colleagues ... join us in this recovery effort, not just with lunch, but with the many other ways people have come to the aid of others in this time, has left a lasting and heartfelt impression on our team.”

POWERING TEXAS RECOVERY

As rescue, cleanup and restoration work began in Texas, Caterpillar and our dealers were there. Click here to view how our partners have come together to support the region.

 

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Caterpillar Victoria employees celebrate the first post-Hurricane Harvey completed machine.

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Local leaders in Victoria, Texas, welcoming employees back to work.

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Caterpillar employees from San Antonio, Schertz and Seguin welcomed the Victoria team back with lunch.

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Caterpillar employees from San Antonio, Schertz and Seguin welcomed the Victoria team back with lunch.

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