ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — CooperVision will invest $62 million and create more than 170 new jobs in Rochester.

The soft contact lens manufacturer is one of the Rochester area’s largest employers.

Jerry Warner, President of CooperVision, discussed the company’s growth Wednesday during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.

“Our Rochester operations serve customers all around the world,” Warner said. “Our distribution facility in West Henrietta services all of the Americas in addition to markets outside the U.S. Scottsville, our manufacturing site, makes lenses — again — not just for here in the States but also on a global platform. The ability to expand means we’re improving our capabilities to get products and services to all of our customers regardless of where we serve them.

Warner said the jobs will include positions in manufacturing, engineering, and technical packaging. “We currently employ over 1,000 folks within the local area on top of the 12,000 that we employ globally.”

The expansion will enhance CooperVision’s packaging capabilities and storage technology.

“We’re upgrading our warehouse management system,” Warner said. “We deploy tools that not only help our teams in the facility like wearable display units but also have brought updated technology such as autonomous mobile robots. The goal here is for us to advance our capabilities and give the best customer experience that we have.”

Warner described the company’s Scottsville site as the jewel of its manufacturing world.

“I say that because it’s not the largest but it’s certainly one of our more advanced locations and it’s really a facility that now in its 40th year has updated its approach in a way that’s allowed us to continue our manufacturing footprint in the local area.”

“All of our facilities across the region are powered by 100% renewable energy,” Warner said. “Most recently our Scottsville facility received LEED Silver certification and we’re also going to go through that process at our West Henrietta site.”

The decision to expand locally was a relatively easy one for CooperVision. The Rochester area has provided so many of the elements necessary for a successful operation.

“First and foremost, 80% of our CooperVision U.S. operations are here in Rochester,” noted Warner. “The Rochester and Finger Lakes area is a wonderful talent pool and that in and of itself in the challenging environment — we didn’t necessarily anticipate that but we had a proven track record of finding really strong and talented individuals to come and join our team. And, of course, there is the rich heritage within the marketplace and within the optical industry that serves us very well.”

Learn more about CooperVision and career opportunities online at CooperVision.com.