One of San Antonio’s oldest companies, Holt Cat’s main shop was built in 1957 and was due for a replacement. Howard Hicks, vice president of public affairs, said the new $11 million facility will make work more comfortable for its employees, 17 percent of whom are veterans.
"It's a 40,000 sq. ft. heavy equipment repair shop that will be fully climate controlled with automatic controls on air conditioning, automatic controls on lighting," Hicks said, "We will have a big exhaust system that if it gets smoke in there from machines running or something we can change the whole system out in an hour."
The company celebrated with a ground-breaking ceremony at which they also honored their veterans. Hicks said the company actively recruits veterans around the state.
"They get good training in the military," Hicks said. "By the time they've been through the military they are a lot more mature, stable and we've just found that some of the best technicians we have are men and women who have just come out of the military."
Hicks said the company has been instrumental in establishing a new degree program at the Alamo Academies for heavy-equipment technicians. That program is scheduled to be approved in November and the first classes could start next fall.