viaPhoton Opens Fiber Optics “Micro-Factory” in Aurora, Illinois
Hiring is underway for 30 new positions initially with a goal to hire up to 200 more employees in the next three to five years. 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 25,000 square foot micro-factory and lab in Aurora 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 development of this manufacturing location presents a unique opportunity for 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 US and Chicagoland region," said Baber Abbas, CEO of viaPhoton. "viaPhoton will create domestic security of supply for fiber optics, which is a critical component in building a 21st century economy. Our customer first approach to manufacturing and our role as a disruptor in the fiber optics and 5G space will create jobs here in the US. We are thrilled to partner with the State of Illinois to advance our shared goals of expanding digital infrastructure, preparing our local workforce for the jobs of the future, while putting Illinois back on the manufacturing map."
According to state officials, “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.”
"viaPhoton's new Aurora location will support Governor JB Pritzker's goals of expanding digital access for all of Illinois, while creating new specialized jobs and apprenticeships for residents of Illinois," said Michael Negron, Acting Director of DCEO. "Their commitment will help shore up the supply chain of fiber optics - supporting our own goals of creating digital access for every community in Illinois. It's also a testament to our state's resiliency, as we remain a top choice for businesses and their employees."
"Manufacturing has been a cornerstone of the Illinois economy for generations, providing high-quality job opportunities for residents across the state," said Governor JB Pritzker. "I am pleased to welcome viaPhoton to their new home in Aurora and to continue building on the state's strong legacy of utilizing technology to expand access to needed services while prioritizing community investment and job creation."
“It has been a delight to work with the viaPhoton team as they work to build a new home in Aurora and source local talent for specialized careers in manufacturing," said John Bradarich, Affiliate Relations Manager of the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center. "Working with IMEC, viaPhoton will develop new customized training programs in high-demand, high growth fields of manufacturing. This in turn will help generate more highly paid, highly skilled jobs of the future, while providing important solutions."
"viaPhoton's selection of Aurora for its micro-factory is further evidence that Aurora's investment into city-wide technology infrastructure and workforce partnerships is paying off," said Bryan Gay, President & CEO of Invest Aurora. "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."
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