BOGART, Ga. — Caterpillar Inc. is planning to hire 100 more workers for its new manufacturing plant in northeast Georgia.

Human Resources manager Mike White said Caterpillar is seeking welders and assemblers and some other workers as it prepares to start manufacturing small tractors and add a second shift to build mini-hydraulic excavators.

Once hired, that will bring the workforce at the Athens-area plant up to about 500. White said he hopes to hire another 200 workers by the end of the year.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports Caterpillar still maintains a goal of employing as many as 1,400 workers by 2018 at its million-square-foot facility on Monroe Highway.

The plant, near the Clarke and Oconee county line, opened in October 2013.