Apple building solar-powered sapphire plant in Arizona

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Apple is bringing up to 2,000 jobs to Arizona – the company is building a new manufacturing facility in the town of Mesa, near Phoenix. The plant will employ at least 700 people, and the governor of Arizona says its construction and operation will create up to 1,300 additional jobs.

Those 700 factory employees will not actually work for Apple. Instead they will work for GT Advanced Technologies. GT has a deal in place with Apple to own and operate sapphire furnaces at the Mesa plant. Sapphire is used in the iPhone 5s fingerprint sensor. It is also used in all iPhone camera lenses.

Many of the new construction jobs generated by the plant will be related to building solar panels. The factory will be powered by renewable energy.

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Martha DeGrasse

Wireless Infrastructuremdegrasse@rcrwireless.com Martha DeGrasse has been creating content for RCR Wireless News since 2011. Recent feature reports include Building Tomorrow's Neworks, Outdoor DAS and Small Cell Case Studies, Wireless Infrastructure Service Company Review, and Investing in HetNets. (All of these can be found by clicking on Reports at the top of this page.) At RCR, Martha also developed the 5 Things to Know Today series and the Mobile Minute. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York. Martha left Dow Jones to move to Austin, Texas, where she managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Follow her on Twitter @mdegrasseRCR