The state of Illinois joined viaPhoton on Monday in announcing the opening of its first hyperlocal fiber optics micro-factory in Aurora.
Leveraging Industry 4.0 technology, viaPhoton’s new factory will build and supply fiber optic solutions for data centers and 5G infrastructure across the state.
The company’s investment in Illinois will help expand access to fiber connections that will enable thousands of megawatts of data center capacity to go online.
The new 25,000 square foot micro-factory and lab in Aurora, at 2640 White Oak Circle, was selected by the company for its proximity to highly skilled talent, and location in Illinois – one of the nation’s fastest growing data center markets.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the workforce centers at DuPage and Kane County have assisted viaPhoton in recruiting employees and designing on-the-job training programs.
The new viaPhoton factory represents an initial $5 million investment by the company, with hiring under way for 30 new positions initially, and a goal to hire up to 200 more companywide in the next three to five years.
Baber Abbas, CEO of viaPhoton, said the development of this manufacturing location presents a unique opportunity fo Illinois to create jobs in this highly specialized field, as the majority of fiber optic materials today are manufactured overseas.
“We are very excited and proud to leverage advanced manufacturing technology to bring high-quality, good paying jobs back to the U.S. and Chicagoland region,” he said. “viaPhoton will create domestic security of supply for fiber optics, which is a critical component in building a 21st century economy.”
Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin said viaPhoton will also support customers in Illinois and beyond as people make a shift toward devices connected to fiber, which are essential for higher bandwidth and speed, and for meeting the digital needs in today’s 21st century economy.
“As Aurora continues to transition from the City of Lights to the City of Light Speed, viaPhoton underscores the significance of Aurora’s ideal location as a technology hub,” he said. “We look forward to an impactful relationship with viaPhoton as we bring new talent and technologies to our city and state.”
Bryan Gay, president & CEO of Invest Aurora, said viaPhoton’s selection of Aurora for its micro-factory is further evidence that investment into citywide technology infrastructure and workforce partnerships is paying off.
“viaPhoton selected Aurora from several Illinois locations because of our highly-educated and available workforce, utility infrastructure, and close proximity to a growing cluster of data centers in the region,” he said.
viaPhoton’s launch follows several recent announcements of Illinois companies expanding in the past several months, including Stack Infrastructure’s recent investment in a data center in Elk Grove Village, Facebook’s new data center in DeKalb, and two new fulfillment centers planned by Amazon for South Cook, estimated to create 2,000 new jobs for Illinois.
SOURCE: state of Illinois news release