SC business notebook, April 30

April 30, 2014 

STEVEN SENNE — AP Photo

Caterpillar moving engine plant to Georgia, Texas

Caterpillar is moving its engine production plant operations from Fountain Inn to Georgia and Texas, affecting 380 full-time and 130 temporary jobs. The company said Tuesday its marine engine operation is shifting to Griffin, Ga., and the C7 engine assembly line is moving to Seguin, Texas. The South Carolina plant is closing by the end of the year. The firm says the move is being made to improve efficiency. The company says severance packages are being offered to full-time employees and they may be considered for the relocated jobs. Last week, the company announced first quarter profits for the company had increased five percent. Caterpillar also has plants in Anderson County, Newberry and Toccoa, Ga.

General Dynamics will lay off 170 employees

General Dynamics says it will lay off about 170 employees at its plant in Ladson by the end of the year. The company blamed reduced military spending for the decision to cut 75 percent of its workforce at the old Force Protection plant. The company says it will stop making mine-resistance vehicles at the plant by December. At the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007, the company employed 2,000 workers. The company says it will keep about 50 workers in Ladson to supply spare parts and supplies and offer field service support to its customers. The Virginia company says about 140 workers will lose their jobs in June when production of the Buffalo mine-resistant vehicle is halted. The company has assistance programs for affected workers, a spokesman said. General Dynamics bought Force Protection in 2011 for $360 million.

Target hires new chief information officer

Target has hired a new chief information officer to help overhaul its data security systems in the wake of a massive pre-Christmas data breach. The discounter also said that by early next year, its branded cards will have MasterCard’s chip-and-PIN technology, which some experts say provides more security than traditional magnetic stripes. The Minneapolis-based discounter said Tuesday that it named outsider Bob DeRodes, who has 40 years of experience in information technology and replaces Beth Jacob, who abruptly left in early March. DeRodes, who takes over May 5, has been a senior information technology adviser for the Center for CIO Leadership, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Associated Press contributed.

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