What started in 1981 in Jacksonville as Frontier Contact Lenses has become a growth engine for one of the world’s most revered health care companies. Since then, Johnson & Johnson Vision which has its global headquarters based in Jacksonville has continued to innovate and prosper in the region to become what it is today – developing and manufacturing solutions which help to improve the sight for millions of people around the world.
Prior to its acquisition, Frontier had 150 employees in Northeast Florida. Today, more than 3,500 people work for Jacksonville’s Johnson & Johnson Vision campus. This growth has come through several expansion efforts over the years, including its most recent announcement of an incremental $200 million investment in its Deerwood Park headquarters.
Our people are truly excited about the cause of eye health. They are always learning and driving innovation, so we want to support those goals through investments in the business and in them professionally,” said Peter Menziuso, company group chairman of Johnson & Johnson Vision. “It’s a significant mission—2.2 billion people globally are vision impaired, and a lot of them have no eye care available. Our solutions are changing the world, and it is imperative that we have the best and brightest in our ranks.
A key dimension of Johnson & Johnson Vision’s hiring model is the integration of former military members. In fact, 75 percent of the company’s manufacturing team are current or former military personnel. “Veterans have the background, training and work ethic needed to drive us forward,” added Menziuso. “Recruiting people from the military is a critical part of our talent strategy because of our highly specialized and technical needs—another reason why Jacksonville is a strategic fit for us.” Each year, there are approximately 3,000 military separations who choose to remain in the Jacksonville region.
Another strategic advantage for Johnson & Johnson Vision is Jacksonville’s position as a logistics and transportation center. The region’s deep-water ports, interconnecting interstates, railroad spurs and international airport system provides them with a global reach right from their manufacturing facilities. This provides both speed to market and built-in efficiencies that are virtually unmatched by the competition.
Technical secondary education in the area is an advantage as well. Johnson & Johnson Vision regularly recruits from the region’s colleges and universities, including University of North Florida and nearby top 20 public universities, the University of Florida and Florida State University. The company also helps develop programs and curriculums that prepare the future workforce for roles within the organization. That—coupled with a strong commitment to giving back to the community—has created a critical partnership between the company and the city they call home.
From their start in San Marco to producing 1.7 billion contact lenses annually, Johnson & Johnson Vision is a catalyst for growth in the Jacksonville area and the leader in the future of vision care around the world.