An Illinois-based company that makes operator protection systems for heavy-equipment manufacturers such as Caterpillar will invest $22 million and generate 250 new jobs in a new facility in Anderson County.

McLaughlin Body Company, based in Moline, Ill., since 1902, will locate its first plant outside its home state in an industrial park at 5121 Old Pearman Dairy Road, pending final approval by Anderson County Council April 15.

The company will make operator stations and complex metal components to supply heavy-equipment manufacturers in the southern and eastern regions of the U.S. It is also the first supplier of the new Caterpillar plant in Georgia to locate in South Carolina.

It’s expected to be in operation by early 2014.

The company will phase in hiring for the new positions as it ramps up to full production with various product introductions over the next several years. The initial hiring will start in the third and fourth quarters of 2013, and the company will partner with readySC for recruitment and training for the new operation.

“The search for a new location was extensive, and we felt South Carolina and Anderson County was the best choice for us,” said John Mann, president of McLaughlin Body Company. “Our new location provides our company an excellent opportunity for business development in this region of the country.”