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Caterpillar moving world headquarters to Chicago

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PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

Caterpillar is moving its world headquarters to Chicago by the end of the year.

In a release Tuesday, the company announced about 300 employees will move into leased office space in Chicago, which will include re-locations from the Peoria area. 

"Caterpillar's Board of Directors has been discussing the benefits of a more accessible, strategic location for some time," said Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby. "Since 2012, about two-thirds of Caterpillar's sales and revenues have come from outside the United States. Locating our headquarters closer to a global transportation hub, such as Chicago, means we can meet with our global customers, dealers and employees more easily and frequently."

This scraps plans announced in 2015 by then-CEO Doug Oberhelman to build a new global headquarters in downtown Peoria. 

Caterpillar said the current headquarters will continue to be used for company offices. They cite continuing economic challenges and a need for growth as the reason for the move. 

"As mayor, I never want jobs moving out of the city. However, the overwhelming majority of Caterpillar employees and their families based in the Peoria area won't be impacted by this decision. I'm pleased Caterpillar continues to call Peoria its hometown," said Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis.

"If Caterpillar succeeds globally, we win in Central Illinois. I'm disappointed we can't keep every job here, but if moving some of its team near Chicago helps Caterpillar thrive, it will benefit Peoria, our county and the surrounding communities," said Peoria County Board Chairman Andrew Rand. 

This story will be updated.

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