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Optics manufacturer moving to Pasco from Long Island

TRINITY — Meopta U.S.A., which manufactures optical lenses for aerospace, defense and sports, is moving operations from Long Island, N.Y., to Trinity.

Next week, Pasco County commissioners will consider a $141,000 job-creation incentive for the Czech Republic company. It purchased the former VLOC plant for $1.7 million in March.

The company proposes to create 47 full-time jobs paying an average annual salary of just less than $49,000 or 125 percent of county's average wage, according to an Oct. 1 memorandum to county commissioners.

Meopta U.S.A. filed federal notice in January that it intended to relocate is operations to Florida from Hauppauge, Long Island, where it had based its sports optics, aerospace and general defense-contracting divisions. The Long Island plant closing had been scheduled for April and affected 42 employees, according to the filing.

"Pasco County has a long history in the photonics industry, and our experienced and talented workforce makes Pasco County an attractive location for companies like Meopta,'' said Bill Cronin, president and CEO of the Pasco Economic Development Council.

The company's sports optics includes the manufacture of such things as binoculars and scopes for rifles. It is taking over the space vacated by VLOC, also a manufacturer of high-tech optical parts, which shut down at the end of 2014 after two decades in Pasco. The 45,000-square-foot plant is on 6.5 acres on Photonics Drive in Trinity.

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