Caterpillar made it official on Friday, as feared. The company will consolidate its Anchor Coupling plants in Sterling and Dixon and move them jobs and manufacturing to Michigan.

The announcement had been rumored since early May when Cat said it was looking to consolidate those plants somewhere in North America. Most, including State Rep. Tom Demmer with whom we talked at the time, believed that would not be anywhere in Illinois. It all comes after a year-long study by the company.

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So what will happen to the local workers?

Local employees will have relocation opportunities, she added.

Employees who lose jobs will receive severance packages, according to the news release.

The local plants will begin to “ramp down production” in the fourth quarter of this year, the release said, and are expected to be closed in the first quarter of 2015.

The relocation comes three years after Cat's CEO threatened to leave the state over the massive hike in the corporate tax rate. While the headquarters has not moved, these jobs are heading to Michigan. And this is how it happens. Not always an exodus, not always immediately noticeable. But plants relocate. Expansion happens elsewhere. The business climate worsens under unchecked Democrat rule. And all of the sudden you have one of the worst jobless rates in the country. Even Michigan, which just stole another 170 jobs from you, is a half-point lower.

We talked with 17th District Congressional candidate Bobby Schilling on the show this morning about the news:

Last month, after it appeared certain that Cat would move the jobs elsewhere, we asked State Rep. Tom Demmer about the loss of jobs: