CooperVision has begun to expand and renovate its manufacturing and distribution facilities in Scottsville and West Henrietta.
The company, a leading global maker of contact lenses, expects the expansions to create more than 170 local jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and technical packaging. It employs more than 1,000 people in the Rochester region—accounting for 80 percent of CooperVision’s U.S. operations—and more than 12,000 globally.
The Scottsville and West Henrietta facilities manufacture, process, and ship nearly 1 billion contact lenses each year to customers in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific markets.
CooperVision said increasing global demand for its contact lenses and a growing product portfolio prompted the expansion.
In West Henrietta, plans call for an additional 150,000 square feet, enhanced storage technology and packaging capabilities, automated robots, and an updated warehouse management system. A 5,500-square-foot expansion to the Scottsville facility’s automated manufacturing operations will enable increased contact lens output. Additional technology upgrades will allow the facility to accommodate current and future product manufacturing growth, resulting in a more robust customer service offering, the company noted.
“Over the years, the Rochester and Finger Lakes region has provided CooperVision a deep talent pool with a rich history in the optical industry,” CooperVision president Jerry Warner said. “Our West Henrietta site is one of the most technologically advanced distribution centers of its kind. Every day, our team packages, stores, and ships millions of contact lenses to eye care professionals and wearers around the world. This latest investment further enhances our industry-leading customer service.”
Added Warner: “Embracing and implementing sophisticated technologies is also essential for our Scottsville contact lens manufacturing facility, which is a jewel in our global network of production sites. We are excited by the opportunity to continue investing in our facilities, the local workforce, and the community at large.”
The Scottsville operation has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification, which the company also plans to seek at the West Henrietta facility as part of the expansion. The Rochester-area facilities are powered by 100 percent renewable energy.
The West Henrietta project is slated for completion by summer 2023. The Scottsville project will be operational by the end of next year, the company said.
Empire State Development is assisting CooperVision with its regional expansion, providing up to $1.5 million in performance-based Excelsior Tax Credits at each project site in exchange for the company’s job creation commitments.
Paul Ericson is Rochester Beacon executive editor.
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