'We're open for business'; Finisar cuts the ribbon on new Sherman plant

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SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) - Tech company Finisar cut the ribbon Monday in their new building. Their arrival has already brought hundreds of jobs to Grayson County.

"We're super excited to be here," said Finisar CEO Michael Hurlston.

Back in December, Apple announced it was investing nearly half a billion dollars in Finisar: a technology company who had recently announced it was moving into Sherman's old MEMC building off US 75.

"It's a huge step for us to go from a raw shell of a building to production in less than six months," Hurlston said.

Hurlston said they've hired 500 people so far and only have a few more hires to make.

"We expect production in the next couple weeks," he said, "And once we do, we actually operate 24 hours a day, around the clock."

Finisar specializes in high tech lasers called VCSELS.

Apple likes the VCSELS because they power their Animjoi and Facial ID feature in the iPhone X.

But Finisar leaders say the VCSELS can be used for future applications like gesture recognition in cars-- like sounding alarms if you leave a kid in a car or if you're sleeping at the wheel--and even high powered smart glasses or virtual reality applications.

"Phone or automotive wise, these are huge in volume," Hurlston said.

Local leaders said the company's arrival has spurred new housing developments and brought in new people.

Congressman John Ratcliffe thinks it's just the start of more things to come.

"With an iconic brand like Apple, people are gonna take notice of that," said U.S. Congressman John Ratcliffe. "In the tech field, those kind accompanies look at why they should relocate to a county like Grayson."

"It's a very unique cooperation between Finisar and the local community and we really enjoy it," Hurlston said. "We've only been here a few months, but its been such great support from community."

The company is expected to start production of their lasers in the coming weeks.

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