Having already moved its parent company, HVHC Inc. to San Antonio, and with a manufacturing plant in Schertz, Visionworks plans to expand its presence here by adding 600 manufacturing jobs at a new facility and 150 corporate positions over the next few months.
Visionworks is one of the largest optical companies based in the U.S.
“From our standpoint, building a manufacturing facility and having our headquarters here makes a lot of sense,” said David Holmberg, its president and CEO.
City Council will vote on tax incentives next week, and if all goes as planned, Holmberg said Visionworks will begin construction at a yet to be announced location on the Westside. It also will occupy two additional floors at the IBC Centre downtown, formerly the ATT headquarters.
“Everybody told us that we should do it in China. We should do it in Mexico,” Holmberg said.
Having been raised in a manufacturing family, Holmberg said he knows the importance of keeping jobs in the U.S.
“We’re proving that with the right investment in technology and the quality of people, that you can make a big difference here,” Holmberg said.
He said they can keep jobs here and still hold down costs.
Holmberg said logistically, “We can get to either coast very quickly.”
After an exhaustive analysis, he said San Antonio beat out other cities for other reasons as well.
“The quality of life is great. The workforce is great. We love it here,” Holmberg said.
He also said the same about the local business environment.
Mayor Julian Castro said the city has long nurtured its business-friendly environment and the quality of its workforce.
Castro said the Visionworks expansion “is one more reminder that we’re getting stronger and stronger in terms of our ability to compete in the 21st century global economy.”
Holmberg said the company will begin hiring in July, with its new plant set to begin operation in September.
The mayor said they will be “good paying jobs with benefits.”