II-VI Inc. just got another big bite from Apple. Today Apple announced a $410M investment in the optical tech firm, supporting hundreds of jobs at its sprawling high-tech facility in Sherman, 65 miles north of Dallas.
II-VI manufactures vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) that help power Face ID, Memoji, Animoji, and Portrait mode selfies. II-VI also works with Apple to manufacture lasers for the LiDAR Scanner—delivering faster, more realistic AR experiences and improved low-light autofocus in photos and videos.
As we reported in 2017, Apple originally invested $390M to bootstrap II-VI’s Sherman facility (then owned by Finisar Inc., which was later acquired by II-VI for $3.2B). That investment helped transform a shuttered 700K-square-foot plant into a high-tech facility slated to create 500 local jobs.
Apple’s $410M investment is expected to support 700+ jobs in Sherman and other U.S. cities for II-XI (pronounced “Two-Six,” named for groups of the Periodic Table of Elements). The other cities are Warren, NJ; Easton, PA; and Champaign, IL.
Apple says II-VI has rapidly increased production in the last year, enabling record shipments from the Sherman facility. The new investment will help ramp up even more delivery for years to come.
“The partnership between Apple and II-VI sets the stage for a new wave of breakthrough technologies that we believe will enable a wide range of applications that will benefit our world for decades to come,” said II-VI CEO Dr. Vincent Mattera Jr., in a statement. “We’re incredibly grateful for Apple’s support which has allowed us to expand our manufacturing capacity and scale our operations across the U.S.”
Apple established its $5B Advanced Manufacturing Fund in 2017 to boost innovation and high-skilled manufacturing across the U.S. The expanded II-VI partnership is part of Apple’s plans to invest $430 billion and add 20,000 new U.S. jobs over the next five years. The investments will impact more than 9,000 suppliers across the country in dozens of sectors, including 5G, silicon engineering, and manufacturing.
“We established Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund to support American businesses creating next-generation technology and the jobs of tomorrow,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, in the statement. “II-VI shares our commitment to push the boundaries of innovation and we’re proud to be extending our work together across the country.”
The boost for Sherman’s job market will be carbon-friendly: II-VI is part of Apple’s Clean Energy Program, which promotes the use of renewable energy across the company’s supply chain. II-VI is already using 100 percent renewable energy for all its Apple manufacturing in the U.S., the statement said.
This story was updated to show the Apple investment will support 700+ new jobs, not specifically create them.
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