Apple awards Corning first advanced manufacturing fund investment

Apple has announced that Corning Inc. will receive $200 million from the company’s new Advanced Manufacturing Fund as part of the tech giant’s commitment to foster innovation among American manufacturers. 

Corning is an American manufacturer of glass, ceramics, and related materials, primarily for industrial and scientific applications. It’s been one of the main suppliers to Apple since working with Steve Jobs in 2007 to develop the iPhone.

The investment will support Corning’s R&D, capital equipment needs and state-of-the-art glass processing. Corning's 65-year-old Harrodsburg facility has been integral to the 10-year collaboration between these two innovative companies and will be the focus of Apple’s investment. 

“Corning is a great example of a supplier that has continued to innovate and they are one of Apple's long-standing suppliers,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said in a press release. “This partnership started 10 years ago with the very first iPhone, and today every customer that buys an iPhone or iPad anywhere in the world touches glass that was developed in America. We’re extremely proud of our collaboration over the years and we are investing further with Corning who has such a rich legacy of innovative manufacturing practices.”

Apple has committed to investing at least $1 billion with US-based companies as part of the fund, which is designed to foster innovative production and highly skilled jobs that will help lay the foundation for a new era of technology-driven manufacturing in the US.

“Corning’s longstanding relationship with Apple has not only led to significant glass innovations that have enabled new capabilities for consumers, it has also helped create nearly 1,000 American jobs and allowed us to continue growing and expanding in the US,” said Wendell P. Weeks, Corning’s chairman, chief executive officer and president. “This investment will ensure our plant in Harrodsburg remains a global center of excellence for glass technology.”

In the US, Apple now supports two million jobs across all 50 states, including 450,000 jobs attributable to Apple’s spend and investment with US-based suppliers. In 2016, Apple spent over $50 billion with more than 9,000 domestic suppliers and manufacturers. 

Since the inception of Gorilla Glass in 2007, the partnership between Apple and Corning has created and sustained nearly 1,000 US jobs across Corning’s R&D, manufacturing and commercial functions, including over 400 in Harrodsburg. Corning has procured enough renewable energy to cover all of its Apple manufacturing in the U.S.