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Warby Parker Opens Lab Facility In Sloatsburg, New York

06/22/2016
Warby Parker, which produces its own line of affordable designer eyewear, will create 128 jobs over the next five years in a new 34,000-square-foot optical lab in Sloatsburg, Rockland County, New York.

Outfitted for the assembly of glasses and the finishing of prescription lenses, this is the first optical lab Warby Parker will fully own, and its first expansion into the Mid-Hudson Region. The Manhattan-based company will also retain more than 250 jobs at its New York City headquarters as well as an additional 130 jobs at New York retail locations.

Empire State Development is providing the company with up to $1.32 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits to encourage Warby Parker to expand in New York State. As part of the agreement, Warby Parker will invest more than $15 million to construct and outfit the new factory while creating 128 jobs over the next five years, starting with about 20 new employees, at the Sloatsburg factory.

In 2014, ESD agreed to provide the company with up to $2.2 million in Excelsior tax credits if they created 145 new jobs and retained 271 in the New York City headquarters. Under the terms of both incentive offers, Warby Parker will retain the agreed-upon employment figures through 2025.

“We’re incredibly excited to open our first optical lab in Sloatsburg, Rockland County,” said Warby Parker co-Founder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa. “We started Warby Parker with the goal of transforming the eyewear industry by offering an alternative to the overpriced and underwhelming prescription glasses on the market. Since 2010, we’ve been committed to building a business that lasts and, as we continue to scale, the lab will allow for more sustainable growth across our supply chain.”

“Since day one we’ve worked hard to provide our customers with the best shopping experience possible. As a vertically integrated brand, opening our own lab is the next step in continuing to provide remarkable customer experiences,” said Warby Parker co-Founder and co-CEO Neil Blumenthal. “And we couldn’t be more excited to open this lab in our own backyard and bring even more jobs to the state we call home.”

“Warby Parker is a fast-growing company and their new facility will bring jobs, private investment and a new economic energy to the entire region,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “This is another example of our administration’s efforts to improve our state’s business climate with policies to attract and retain innovative companies that create good-paying jobs for New Yorkers.”

“New York State’s skilled and educated workforce has enabled Warby Parker to develop and grow, to the point where it is adding 128 employees to the hundreds it already has,”said ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, innovative companies like Warby Parker are changing the business landscape, creating jobs in the Mid-Hudson Region and across the state.”

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