Saturday, July 08, 2000

Precision Lens expanding Clermont plant

By Cliff Peale
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        U.S. Precision Lens will add 200 new jobs and invest almost $32 million in its Clermont County plant within the next three years, the company confirmed Friday.

        The company has moved a warehouse to another location and will fill that space with more machines to make lenses for projection televisions, said Chuck Wise, chief financial officer. “The market for our products is way up the latter part of last year and this year,” Mr. Wise said. “And we're out of room.”

        Some of the machines should start arriving within the next few weeks, but the entire expansion should take several years, he said.

        U.S. Precision Lens posted sales of between $100 million and $200 million last year, Mr. Wise said. Overall, the company employs about 1,100 workers, all at the operation on McMann Road. It is owned by Corning Inc.

        The company has applied for a local tax incentive for the project, said Matt Van Sant, vice president of the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce.

        It will spend about $29 million on new equipment and about $2.7 million on building improvements, he said.

        The company has requested a 75 percent property-tax abatement over 10 years on the improvements.

        The company has expanded several times in the last decade, but the new project will not involve expanding the building, Mr. Wise said.

        U.S. Precision Lens was founded in 1930 as U.S. Watch Crystal Manufacturing Co. The name was changed in 1958. Roger Howe acquired the company in 1970, when it was operating in the red and had 12 employees, and he eventually sold it to Corning.


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