Kobelco Construction Machinery USA welcomed visitors to its Katy, Texas facility and to Spartanburg, S.C. on Friday to mark the groundbreaking on its new Palmetto State facility.

AEM staff attended the groundbreaking in South Carolina and held a satellite I Make America sign-up event at Kobelco’s Texas facility.

In the short term, Kobelco plans to bring dozens of new jobs to Spartanburg, where workers will manufacture excavators at the new state-of-the-art facility. More jobs will be added in years to come.

“Kobelco will also be proudly supporting the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and the I Make America campaign by creating over 130 new jobs for the skilled workforce who live in the local communities surrounding our production facility,” Kobelco USA President and CEO Katsuhiko “Pete” Morita told several dozen dignitaries at the groundbreaking.

The Spartanburg location was chosen from almost 50 candidate sites spanning eight states, according to Kobelco officials. Kobelco is targeting January 2016 for completion of the facility, which will add manufacturing jobs to the area alongside companies like BMW of North America and Michelin.

"Kobelco's new facility in South Carolina demonstrates what our I Make America campaign is all about: growing the equipment manufacturing industry and supporting good-paying jobs across the United States,” AEM President Dennis Slater said upon the occasion of the groundbreaking. “This new plant represents growth for Kobelco, and their commitment to the economy of Spartanburg. Our AEM team was glad to join this groundbreaking to help highlight how Kobelco helps 'make America' every day."

In addition to the groundbreaking, AEM staff were in Texas for a telecast of the groundbreaking and to hold an I Make America sign-up to continue to grow the list of supporters for the program.

“Kobelco’s Texas team is committed to I Make America and what it means to the U.S. economy. All of our workforce seeks to encourage government policy that is pro-manufacturing and pro-economic growth,” said Dan Collins, Kobelco national sales director.

The stop was I Make America’s third of 2015, with the schedule of visits accelerating into the late spring and summer months.