Apple to build US plant and manufacture sapphire glass

Some great news for the American tech industry and job market has surfaced recently. Apple is in the process of building a manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona that will provide an estimated 2000 employment opportunities.

The plant is expected to employ approximately 1300 workers throughout the construction process and an additional 700 once it’s completely in operation. And it’s not just a positive development for the local job market, either. It’s also good for the environment. Apple’s new facility will run on 100% renewable energy from day one of operations. What’s more, Apple is apparently also building a solar power grid that will accompany the facility and fuel the work done within it.

The Mesa plant will reportedly be manufacturing Sapphire Glass components, which Apple uses to protect cameras on iPhones and iPads. This marvelous material is renowned for its superior durability and scratch resistance. It’s also, of course, the stuff that goes into the home buttons on the new iPhone 5s, which is equipped with fingerprint-reading Touch ID. With iPhone 5s sales booming, and putting the company far ahead of their competitors once again, manufacturing in Arizona is guaranteed to be on a massive scale.

Sapphire Boule
Sapphire Boule / GT Advanced Technologies

While solid reports to date have only indicated the plant will product these components, other industry insiders and Apple fans have guessed that the Arizona facility will also be the production home for the fabled iWatch, which would likely also use Sapphire Glass. Whether or not that is the case is yet to be seen. However, regardless of what the plant is used for, it is likely to contribute to the economy in Mesa for years to come. Such a large investment by Apple signals long-term growth and career opportunities for the foreseeable future.

Announcements about the Arizona production facility are welcome news to many who have been wondering about Apple’s position on maintaining American jobs. Last December, CEO Tim Cook famously announced the company’s intention to invest $100 million in American-based facilities. However, until news of the Arizona plant surfaced, the company’s only gesture since the announcement was to set up a Mac Pro production facility in Texas.

The Texas plant was initially seen as a token gesture by many critics who felt that Apple wasn’t serious about keeping jobs in the USA. The company, of course, is well known for contracting exclusively to third parties overseas for the manufacturing needs. However, by bringing another, larger sector of their business to America, Apple has made a statement that they are serious about making good on Tim Cook’s promise. Furthermore, by making the decision to stick with completely renewable energy for the new facility, they have also made it well known that they are considerate of the environmental impact.

Millions of consumers, in the USA and across the globe, eagerly await the latest Apple news and products. By bringing more jobs to America and putting in the effort to “think green” the company is likely to win over even more supporters.