SANFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s been 25 years since Caterpillar opened their factory in Sanford, and the expansions the company has made since 1998 are massive. 

What was once one factory now spans over a million square feet, with several buildings, nearly 2,000 employees, thousands of machines and tools produced every year, and even more money pumped into the local economy.

The company is celebrating 25-years in business by working on their latest generation tractor and thanking the employees that help them run every single day.

Some employees who have been there from the very first day in 1998 say looking at all the progress they’ve made is staggering.

“When you look around this plant, when we first came in, it was just the one building,” Bobby Rumbley, a machinist with the company who started on the day they opened 25-years ago, said. “But you can look around here now and see it’s several buildings that they built here and the campus is huge.”

Vice President and General Manager Dave Emonson said they’re anticipating even more growth.

“We’re expanding our campus in this location in Sanford so that we can sort of consolidate our operations, and invest in the technology so that we can prepare for growth,” Emonson said.