News that Texas Instruments will close its Sherman facility by 2025 was met locally with surprise this week, but with several years still on the timeline, many questions remain about the transition and the future of high-tech manufacturing in the region.
In an email sent Wednesday, Channels and Public Relations Manager Nicole Bernard said the company will shutter its Sherman semi-conductor fabrication plant and another site in Dallas between 2023 and 2025. The move is meant to allow TI to expand its production operations at an existing complex in Richardson.
“We continually assess factories based on their efficiency and ability to be upgraded and expanded to meet the needs of our growing portfolio,” the email said. “The DFAB (Dallas) and SFAB (Sherman) factories have been instrumental to TI’s success for the last five decades; however, they do not have the scale, infrastructure and efficiency needed to be upgraded to 300-millimeter technology and carry us competitively into the future.”
TI’s Sherman location was brought online in 1966 and is one of the company’s two remaining factories for 150-millimeter, silicon-wafer production. The components are used in a variety of applications including manufacturing, automobiles, personal electronics and communications.
Bernard said 300-millimeter wafers provide a cost advantage over 150-millimeter wafers because they yield more than four times as many components.
With roughly 500 employees in Sherman, TI is one of the largest employers in the city according to the Sherman Economic Development Council. Texas Instruments said that as the transition nears, it expects to offer many Sherman and Dallas employees jobs at its other DFW-Metroplex sites. Workers without roles at that time will be offered severance packages.
It’s unclear how many employees at the Dallas facility will be affected by the closure.
“Employees at these factories have been an important part of TI’s overall success and will continue to be critical to help ensuring a successful transition,” Bernard’s email said.
On Thursday, SEDCO President Kent Sharp said TI’s announcement came unexpectedly, but he understood that companies must always adapt and prepare for the future. Sharp said SEDCO will continue to offer its services and support to TI until the closure is enacted, and local organizations affected by the closure will work together to determine the next steps.
“All of the economic development partners — including SEDCO, the city of Sherman, Grayson County, the Workforce Commission, Grayson College, the independent school districts — we’ll all be working together over the next several months to understand the impact this is going to have,” Sharp said.
Drew Smith is a reporter for the Herald Democrat. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.