VISTAKON, a division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., will invest $218 million to expand production and refurbish existing lines for their ACUVUE brand contact lenses in Jacksonville, Florida
, creating 100 jobs during the next three years.
Tim Ryan, VISTAKON Plant Manager, said, “We are very excited about the potential to expand in Jacksonville, which is where we started this business 26 years ago. We’re looking forward to continued growth and success, and we appreciate the Governor visiting our plant twice to highlight the sales tax cut on manufacturing equipment.” The firm currently employs about 1,800 individuals at its plant in Jacksonville.
Gov. Rick Scott noted he visited VISTAKON’s facility in May to celebrate elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing equipment and machinery. The sales tax elimination, along with no personal income tax and Florida’s 15 seaports, will allow manufacturers in the state to save costs, increase capital investments and hire more Florida workers, Scott said.
“Our work to create the best business environment in the nation is making a difference. Last spring, we eliminated burdensome taxes on manufacturers. Now, VISTAKON can re-invest their money into the community by creating jobs for Florida families,” the Governor said.
“Johnson & Johnson is one of the most well-known companies worldwide and we could not be happier that they are again expanding again in Jacksonville,” said Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope, president and CEO of Enterprise Florida. “Florida ranks first in the nation in Manufacturing Export Intensity, the percentage of our total manufactured goods that are exported. VISTAKON has been very effective in utilizing Florida’s top export position and we know they will continue their success with this expansion.”
The project was made possible through strong partnerships between Enterprise Florida, the City of Jacksonville, JAXUSA, Workforce Florida, Inc., Department of Revenue and Department of Economic Opportunity. The State of Florida has awarded Capital Investment Tax Credit incentives to Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. for this expansion project.
“We are proud to work collaboratively with the State of Florida and all the stakeholders to bring quality jobs to Jacksonville,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “My administration is focused on projects like VISTAKON’s expansion to support targeted industries, make Jacksonville more competitive and keep our momentum for economic growth.”
“We welcome this expansion project for VISTAKON in Northeast Florida and look forward to continued growth in the health and life sciences industry. We worked closely with our partners at Enterprise Florida and the City of Jacksonville to complete this project,” said Jerry Mallot, JAXUSA Partnership President. “Our economy is moving in a positive direction. We have enjoyed numerous announcements this year involving job creation and capital investment.”
“The expansion of VISTAKON in Jacksonville will not only create local jobs, but is evidence that the elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing equipment and machinery enables Florida companies to expand and hire more employees,” said Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Jesse Panuccio.