Finisar parent company to get $2.7M in incentives for facility buildout

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
SEDCO has approved a $2.7 million incentive package related to the expansion of Finisar's Sherman facility and operations.

More:Apple announces $410 million award for II-VI

The Sherman Economic Development Corp. will assist II-VI Incorporated— parent company of Finisar — in the $53 million buildout of its Sherman facility. $2.7 million in incentives for the project, which Sherman officials hope will solidify Sherman's reputation as a tech hub in North Texas was approved Tuesday.

"This just reinforces Sherman's ability to not only attract but maintain and grow bleeding-edge tech companies," SEDCO President Kent Sharp said Tuesday. "I've been told by people in the industry that this U.S. 75 corridor — this 50-mile stretch of 75 — will become a very relevant corridor. We will light up on company's radars across the globe that previously had no idea where Sherman was at."

The news of expansion comes nearly four years after Finisar announced it was purchasing  the former MEMC building in Sherman in order to produce vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers. The component is often used in facial recognition technology, including Apple iPhone products.

"We are continuing our expansion in Sherman as part of a multi-year investment to support the substantial increase in volume production of lasers for 3D sensing in smartphones, which enable facial biometrics and augmented reality," said Julie Eng, II-VI senior vice president of  optoelectronic devices & modules. "We deeply appreciate our ongoing partnership with the City of Sherman and SEDCO’s investments to help finance our growth. We will continue our recruiting locally to add a broad range of talent to our team, including engineers, engineering technicians, and high-tech semiconductor manufacturing operators."

More:Now Hiring: Sherman-Denison remains in a worker shortage

Sharp said the incentive that was approved Tuesday would assist the company in expanding its production on the site. Documents from the SEDCO meeting said that the expansion would include about $9.5 million in construction and about $43.5 million in equipment and tooling expenses. The expansion will add about 146 tools to the site and expand die-level capacity by 30 percent.

The expansion will add about 119 jobs, with more than 80 related to production. The remaining jobs would primarily be focused in professional services.

"Some of those jobs will be over six-figure jobs," Sharp said.

The incentive package includes $2.65 million that will be offered in five equal annual installments, with the first expected to be paid upon receipt of the first project invoices. The company will maintain an average of 390 employees over the next five years as a part of the agreement.

If the company is able to invest the full $53 million and an additional $10 million within 36 months, SEDCO will pay the company the remaining balance of the earned credit.

SEDCO is also offering its standard incentive of up to $50,000 for services and supplies that are purchased locally for a total package of $2.7 million.

This is not the first time that SEDCO has assisted the company through incentive agreements. The company received  $1 million in incentives in early 2018 related to the initial buildout of the building. The city also offered a mixture of tax incentives and abatements over the course of 15 years valued at about $4.5 million.

Sharp said that II-VI is expected to seek similar abatements from the city for the new expansion.

A technician at Finisar inspects a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) wafer during production.