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Gov. Scott touts 100 new jobs in Jacksonville

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Jacksonville is getting 100 new jobs thanks to Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. The company is planning to expand its facility in the North Florida city from its current base of 2,000 employees.

The company will also spend more than $300 million to make the expansion happen.

“Since December 2010, more than 879,000 private-sector jobs have been added in Florida and we have cut taxes 50 times, including eliminating the sales tax on manufacturing equipment, which shows that Florida’s business-friendly environment makes it easier for companies to grow and thrive,” said Gov. Rick Scott. “Johnson & Johnson Vision Care chose Florida for this expansion out of any other place in the country. I look forward to even more announcements like this as companies realize Florida is the best place to do business.”

The expansion will pave the way for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care to create five new production lines and a tank farm in order to support new products.

“At Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., we are committed to our customers, our employees and our community. The expansion of our Jacksonville facility will give us additional opportunities to deliver healthy vision to everyone, everywhere, every day and continue to be a vibrant member of the community,” said Tim Ryan, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care plant manager.

The company is also planning a “Center for Excellence” for 3D printing and a center for a medical device, laboratory test method development.

“Florida’s opportunity economy continues to grow thanks to global leading companies like Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and its investments in Florida,” said Bill Johnson, CEO of Enterprise Florida. “Florida’s life sciences sector is among the best in the nation, thanks to our pro-business climate and workforce. We thank Johnson & Johnson Vision Care for their continued commitment to Florida.”

According to the Scott administration, Florida is ranked second among states for FDA registered medical device manufacturing facilities. There are more than 1,100 biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device companies in Florida.

“Johnson & Johnson’s continued growth in Florida is another chapter in Florida’s economic resurgence. This facility is at the intersection of two critical industries – manufacturing and biotechnology – and that means families in Jacksonville will have 100 new opportunities for high-wage, high-skill jobs,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity executive director Jesse Panuccio. “This is a win for Jacksonville and for Florida.”

The project represents a partnership between Enterprise Florida, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, CareerSource Florida, the City of Jacksonville and JAXUSA.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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