CooperVision, a global manufacturing company of contact lenses, is sticking with Puerto Rico.

The company reaffirmed its commitment to expanding its operations on the island with an investment of $150 million in the south, the creation of more than 226 jobs over an extended period and the certification of 285 employees in new highly automated technology.

“CooperVision is the largest industrial employer in the municipality of Juana Díaz. This significant investment for the development of an additional wing, with a construction project that will connect to the existing building to free up manufacturing space and increase the warehouse space, is excellent news for 1,721 professionals, who already work in this company, recognized worldwide, as well as for those who in the next three years will be hired.

“This company demonstrates that in Puerto Rico, there are the necessary resources for the establishment and expansion of specialized industries such as in the biosciences sector, which contribute 34 percent of the island’s gross domestic product (GDP),” said Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel A. Laboy Rivera.

“As a company based in several countries, we have always bet on and trust what we do from here, and that we can give more to export. This is a sign of our commitment which, just as we have grown to where we are today, and even with the challenges we face locally and globally, we are aspired to and betting on more, for the benefit of all, not just Juana Díaz but the southern region,” added CooperVision Plant Manager Javier Pellicier Rodríguez.

“We want to support the economy, continue to grow, providing a service of excellence and for this, we are investing in improvements and expansions for the benefit of everyone on the island,” he added.

The Biosciences sector in Puerto Rico generates 45 percent of industrial jobs and approximately 148,648 direct, indirect and induced jobs, according to DDEC, as the government agency is known by its Spanish acronym.

The DDEC secretary said he appreciated CooperVision’s commitment to Puerto Rico and noted that the company serves as a role model as it also maintains commercial ties with local Puerto Rican suppliers.

“It is important that large companies established in Puerto Rico not only rely on the expertise of our professionals in the field in which they operate, but also in the products and services offered by various local companies that contribute to their success. For our part, we will continue to fulfill the commitment of Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced to support companies that rely on the talent and professionalism of the Puerto Rican workforce, strengthening the economic development of the island,” Laboy said.

Opened in 1999, the 540,000-square-foot site in Juana Díaz produces the company’s popular silicone hydrogel contact lenses including, MyDay and Biofinity brands.

Earlier this month, the Juana Díaz facility earned a prestigious LEED Silver certification for its environmentally-conscious design and operation. The local manufacturing site excelled in LEED evaluation categories including energy performance, indoor environmental quality, and location and transportation to earn the honor.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building. It certifies that a project complies with the requirements as created and maintained by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED projects earn points by adhering to prerequisites and credits across nine measurements, including building excellence, integrative design, human health and material use.

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