“We had to expand our capacity, and the question is where were we going to do it, were we going to do it overseas, in the U.S., subcontracted or whatever? And we were encouraged by Apple that we do it in our facility,” Finisar Chairman Jerry Rawls told CNBC.
With the $390 million investment from Apple, Finisar will transform a shuttered, 700,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Sherman, Texas, into a high-tech facility developing specialized chips that power the iPhone X and some of its more complex features.
“We’re a good employer. We’re going to have highly skilled jobs that will pay well,” Rawls said. “I think we’re going to be a good citizen of Sherman, Texas.”
The investment is the second from Apple’s $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund — following a $200 million investment in Corning, which manufactures the glass used in iPhones and other Apple products.
But Apple COO Jeff Williams told CNBC $1 billion is “absolutely not” a final threshold.
“We’re not thinking in terms of a fund limit,” Williams said. “We’re thinking about, where are the opportunities across the U.S. to help nurture companies that are making the advanced technology — and the advanced manufacturing that goes with that — that quite frankly is essential to our innovation.”
“Often those operations are very capital intensive,” Williams said.
— CNBC’s Josh Lipton contributed to this report.
Apple has a billion fund for US manufacturers, but it could invest more, said COO Jeff Williams