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Apple Awards $410 Million to Global Technology Company with Lehigh Valley Location

By Colin McEvoy on May 11, 2021

The $410 million award to II-VI from Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund will create additional capacity and accelerate production of future components for the iPhone, supporting more than 700 jobs nationally. (photo courtesy Apple newsroom)

II-VI, Inc., a global technology company with a manufacturing facility in Palmer Township, has been awarded $410 million in funds from Apple. This will allow the company to expand manufacturing capacity, and is expected to create and retain jobs in the Lehigh Valley.

The funds will accelerate II-VI’s production and delivery of future components for the Apple iPhone, and will support more than 700 jobs across II-VI’s four facilities across the United States, according to Apple. This includes its Lehigh Valley manufacturing facility, located in a 281,000 square-foot industrial building at 2251 Newlins Mill Road in Palmer Township.

“We are proud to be serving so many large innovators, like Apple, that are also committed to having a profoundly positive impact on the world,” II-VI CEO Vincent D. Mattera, Jr. said in the company’s Q3 earnings release.

The announcements from Apple and II-VI did not specify how many of the 700 jobs supported by the funds are located in the Lehigh Valley. In total, II-VI employs more than 22,000 employees across 75 locations in 18 countries.

“We are enthusiastic about expanding our partnerships with market leaders like Apple, to enable many of the positive changes through the adoption of new technologies that we expect to unfold over the years ahead,” Mattera said. “We are honored to be Apple’s trusted partner and we look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship.”

II-VI is one of the 700 manufacturers in the Lehigh Valley making a wide range of products, including sophisticated components for technological applications. Manufacturing is the second-largest sector of the region’s $43.3 billion gross domestic product, generating more than $7 billion in annual economic output and employing 33,400 workers.

“A lot of products are made in the Lehigh Valley that the people living here aren’t even aware of,” said Don Cunningham, President & CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC). “These range from aeronautic components to medical supplies; from Mack Trucks to the electronic components II-VI make for Apple iPhones.”

II-VI, the name of which is pronounced “two-six,” is a leading manufacturer of optical technology. It is headquartered in Saxonburg, Pa.

The company’s engineered materials, optoelectronic components, and optical systems are used in industrial, communications, aerospace & defense, life sciences, semiconductor capital equipment, automotive and consumer electronics applications, among others.

For Apple, II-VI manufactures vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers that help power such iPhone functions Face ID, Memoji, Animoji, and Portrait mode selfies, according to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.

Apple also works with II-VI to manufacture lasers used in the LiDAR Scanner, technology that helps deliver faster, more realistic augmented reality experiences and improves autofocus in low-light scenes in photos and videos.

“The partnership between Apple and II-VI sets the stage for a new wave of breakthrough technologies that we believe will enable a wide range of applications that will benefit our world for decades to come,” Mattera said. “We are incredibly grateful for Apple’s support which has allowed us to expand our manufacturing capacity and scale our operations across the U.S.”

The $410 million in funds comes from Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund, and comes in addition to a separate $390 million Apple awarded to the company in 2017, Williams said.

“(Apple’s) announcement about our relationship should help clarify our sense of the importance of our long-term strategic investments in disruptive technologies and products that can be manufactured at scale,” Mattera said.

Through close collaboration with Apple engineering and operations teams, II-VI has rapidly increased production in the past year, Williams said, which has led to record shipments to Apple from II-VI’s facility in Sherman, Texas.

“We established Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund to support American businesses creating next-generation technology and the jobs of tomorrow,” Williams said. “II-VI shares our commitment to push the boundaries of innovation and we’re proud to be extending our work together across the country.”

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