I grew up in and around Peoria Illinois. Yes, it is always the butt of many jokes, but it is also the world headquarters of Caterpillar Tractor Company -- known now as only Caterpillar. Having said that it was interesting growing up in a "one company" town if you will. If you weren't associated with "CAT" you didn't exist. I remember once wanting to see a doctor and not being able to get in because I din't work for Cat. I had my secretary (whose husband did work for Cat) call and make an appointment for herself and then I went. I had to beg them to take me and they would only take cash money. I had good insurance but they didn't want to deal with it. I was lucky they even saw me at all.
Then over 30 years ago I got married and we moved to Athens Georgia -- where the single employer here is the University of Georgia. If you weren't associated with UGA you didn't exist. I can honestly say that over the years that has changed and you don't feel quite as alienated as you used to -- or at least we don't.
But now, Caterpillar announced today they are opening a plant here in Athens that will employ around 1,000 people. It's great for the community, but how ironic is that?