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Contact lens production opens at B+L plant

State Sen. Joe Robach, R-Greece; Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks; Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.; Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson; state Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, D-Irondequoit; state Sen. Ted O’Brien, D-Irondequoit; Rochester Deputy Mayor Len Redon; and state Assemblyman Harry Bronson, D-Rochester, on Monday cut the ribbon on a new contact lens production line at the firm’s North Goodman Street plant. Mike Murphy

State Sen. Joe Robach, R-Greece; Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks; Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.; Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson; state Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, D-Irondequoit; state Sen. Ted O’Brien, D-Irondequoit; Rochester Deputy Mayor Len Redon; and state Assemblyman Harry Bronson, D-Rochester, on Monday cut the ribbon on a new contact lens production line at the firm’s North Goodman Street plant. Mike Murphy

Government leaders and Bausch+Lomb employees Monday marked the opening of a new manufacturing line that will be used to produce the new “ULTRA” contact lens.

The new line is expected to create 120 jobs and help retain more than 1,000 employees in research and development and manufacturing, according to J. Michael Pearson, CEO of B+L’s parent company, Valeant.

This year the company is expected to manufacture and distribute millions of the contact lenses, Pearson said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the company’s North Goodman Street plant.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-New York, discussed his role in urging the company to produce this new contact lens line in Rochester, where it was originally developed, instead of Ireland, where the company was initially considering manufacturing the product.

The first of the full-scale manufacturing lines has been installed in the Rochester plant and the final testing is being completed. The second full-scale manufacturing line is slated to be installed this fall.

Schumer said that Valeant is investing more than $106 million to install two full-scale manufacturing lines to produce the new ULTRA contact lenses in Rochester, Schumer said.

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