UPPER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. – A global company doing more than $1.3 billion a year in revenue is looking to expand its workforce in Upper Macungie Township.
“Essentially what our company does is build high-powered processors to power the network, the fiber optic network, that interconnects your 5G phones, your high-definition television sets, your gaming consoles,” said David Heard, Infinera CEO and director.
You probably never knew Infinera has been in Lehigh County for about 20 years. It’s one of the only companies building fiber optic semiconductors in the U.S.
“We service the big web scalers like the Amazons and Facebooks and others of the world, as well as service providers you might think of like the AT&Ts and Verizons of the world,” said Heard.
The company is so busy that it needs to expand, Heard says. It would like to double its 200-person workforce in the Lehigh Valley in 2022.
“Traffic is growing across the network at 35% per year,” Heard said, “and we’re looking to continue to grow.”
On top of that, the federal infrastructure package allocates $65 billion for universal broadband.
On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania State Senate passed a bill creating the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, which will manage the $100 million the state is getting from the package.
U.S. Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA 7th District) toured Infinera on Thursday. She’s working on a bill that would ask the administration to create an office devoted to dealing with supply chain issues.
Wild said job security doesn’t seem to be a concern for employees in one industry that’s in high demand and growing.
“If anything, they just need to ramp up as much as they possibly can,” she said, “and they’re facing all the same concerns that other industries are and other people are with supply chain.”
“If we use it in America, we should be making it in America,” Wild added, “and to know that it’s right here in our own backyard in Pennsylvania (District) 7 is just fabulous.”
Still, the company acknowledges that coming across enough labor to fill 200 positions will be a challenge — another topic discussed with the congresswoman during her visit.