Vistakon, a division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and the world’s leading innovator and manufacturer of disposable contact lenses, recently expanded its operations in Jacksonville with a $300 million investment in its facility, bringing total investment in the last three years to more than $500 million. This is the company’s second expansion in the region and now employs more than 3,400 at its state-of-the-art campus.
This latest expansion project supports the design and development of new products for the global market and allows Jacksonville to be the site location for all new product introductions. Vistakon’s research & development facility will continue to support the development of its contact lens innovations and the special materials associated with the manufacturing process.
Jacksonville is also home to the Vision Care Institute, a high-tech facility designed to give hands-on training and education to professionals in the field of optometry. More than 100,000 eye care professionals have attended classes at the Institute that is taught in 30 different languages. The Vision Care Institute now includes 14 facilities on four continents.
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care began operations in 1959 as Frontier Contact Lenses, a small firm in Buffalo, NY. The company moved to Jacksonville and was acquired in 1981 by Johnson & Johnson and renamed Vistakon.
In 1987, Vistakon introduced the ACUVUE® brand contact lenses in the U.S and soon after, the product became the world’s first mass-market disposable contact lenses. In 1993, ACUVUE became the number one selling contact lens worldwide and today, the company sells contact lenses in more than 96 countries around the world, most of which are manufactured here in Jacksonville.
By Broderick Green, Senior Director of Business Development