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Cataler to Begin Production Trials

Mass volume production trials are set to begin at Cataler North America sometime next week. Albert Alvarez, Cataler general manager, spoke to members of the Lincoln Economic Development Association at their annual meeting Thursday at Verdict Ridge Country Club. He was accompanied by Cataler President Katsuyoshi Fujishima and Treasurer Takashi Yamauchi. Alvarez ran through Cataler’s timeline of events, from May 2001 groundbreaking in the Lincoln County Industrial Park and the start of recruitment in September 2001 to the recent hiring of salaried and hourly employees. Alvarez thanked Gaston College and area community colleges for their help in training employees. The Japanese company moved into its new home in April. Since them, Cataler has been concentrating on equipment installation. Alvarez said the Lincoln-plant will be a Cataler “model plant.” “It’s at the top in terms of the complexity of equipment and process,” Alvarez said. “We’re going to see the trend for the future of Cataler.” Alvarez expects production to begin in late August, with the grand opening set for October. Forty people have been hired, Alvarez said. Twenty are salaried and 20 are paid hourly. LEDA Executive Director Barry Matherly praised the company and its contribution to Lincoln County. “This is exactly the type of company we need,” Matherly said. He said the high-paying, high-tech jobs are what the area wants to attract. Alvarez thanked the community for it’s support. “We hope to be a tremendous asset to the community,” he said. Cataler North America is the first wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of the Cataler Corporation, which is headquartered in Shizouka, Japan. Cataler will make and distribute automotive catalysts, which reduce harmful substances in exhaust gas. The project is the largest investment in a manufacturing facility in Lincoln County history.