Sherman set to become technology hub for Apple products

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SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams proclaimed Tuesday, "The people in Sherman will be part of the most sophisticated phone technology that exists in the world."

Apple invested $390 million with Finisar, the company developing the old MEMC building off U.S. Highway 75 to combine with its Allen facility to make high tech lasers called VCSELS for the new iPhone 10.

The VCSELS, which stand for Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser, power the iPhone 10s facial recognition animojis, which are animated characters controlled by your face and voice, portrait mode selfies, and their air pods, or wireless headphones.

Apple officials say the payroll between the two plants will be 65 million dollars with 800 workers total, that brings the average annual pay to just over $81,000 per worker.

"This an enormous investment," Finisar CEO Jerry Rawls said. "We paid $20 million on the building, and we're spending another $20 mill upgrading the building, and $100 million in capital equipment to put in the building."

Sherman Economic Development Corp. President John Plotnik said that their staff is delighted that they have this type of labor force moving into the city of Sherman.

When asked about what incentives package Finisar received, he said, "The economic incentives will not be known until we receive their application."

Plotnik said he expects that Finisar officials will make their application before the end of the year, and those applications generally include the amount of jobs created, wages expected to be paid and investments companies expect to make.

SEDCO examines those figures, then puts together a proposal that they will offer the company.

Williams said Sherman will be the new VCSEL capital of the U.S. and all of the VCSEL wafers Apple gets from Finisar are guaranteed to be made in Texas.

"Tens of millions of people will be using part of the technology made right here in Sherman, Texas," Williams said.

The hiring process has already begun and the Sherman plant is scheduled to start shipping out products by late 2018.

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