Finisar cuts the ribbon at new Sherman plant - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Finisar cuts the ribbon at new Sherman plant

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Finisar CEO Michael Hurlston cuts the ribbon at the company's new Sherman manufacturing plant on July 9, 2018. (KTEN) Finisar CEO Michael Hurlston cuts the ribbon at the company's new Sherman manufacturing plant on July 9, 2018. (KTEN)

SHERMAN, Texas — Monday was a big day for the City of Sherman and Finisar.

Finisar CEO Michael Hurlston — along with city and county officials — cut a ribbon at its new 700,000 square foot manufacturing facility on the site of the former MEMC building.

"What we've seen here in Sherman is unbelievable support in the community," Hurlston said. "It's great to be here and getting the support from the mayor's office, education -- really, the whole community — and get this initiative off the ground."

California-based Finisar said construction at its south Sherman site along U.S. 75 is on track, and the high-tech company said it has already hired almost 200 new employees.

Last year, Finisar purchased the MEMC building to start building the 3-D Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser sensing components used in the latest Apple iPhone products. 

"So for security applications, when you — for example — hold a phone up to your face and it knows it's your face and not my face," Hurlston said. ""It knows it's my face, not my brother's face."

The company said it could start testing its manufacturing processes as early as next week.

"On Day 1 — which will be in the next week or so — we actually start our first trial runs," Hurlston said. "We expect to be running 24-hour shifts."

Finisar, seen as a major accelerator for Grayson County's economy, expects to begin production of VCSEL devices by the end of the year. 

"Sherman is now home to a company that is the second largest supplier to Apple: One of the iconic brands of our time," said U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-District 4).

Hurlston said that while the Sherman facility is now "pretty well staffed," there are still some jobs yet to be filled.

Finisar is also working with Grayson College, which received a $500,000 grant to help train employees for the new factory.

The company said working with local schools has helped boost awareness of technology jobs, and gets them connected with the community.

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