Incentive money brings more jobs to Pasco

Pasco County commissioners approved an incentive payment of $141,000 to Meopta U.S.A, an optics manufacturer bringing nearly 50 new jobs to the county.

Meopta USA is opening a plant in Trinity that will manufacture precision optics for a variety of uses including binoculars, scopes, and assemblies for the military and aerospace industries. (Courtesy of Shannon Jackson)

The company is relocating its headquarters from Long Island, New York, to 7826 Photonics Drive, in Trinity.

Meopta officials plan to renovate a building formerly occupied by another optics manufacturer, VLOC, Inc. That company closed in 2014.

Pasco can thank a Largo-based company for its good fortune in landing Meopta.

Nearly a year ago, the Largo company, also an optics manufacturer, was looking to be bought out. Meopta officials decided to buy the company’s assets, with initial plans to move everything to their plant in Long Island, New York.

But, Reinard Seipp, Meopta’s general manager, said he saw a lot of “know-how and talent” in the area.

But there was a problem.

“I didn’t want to live in Largo,” he said. “I happened to like Pasco, right away. I live here. I love it.”

Meopta is expected to make about a $5.2 million capital investment in the project.

Salaries are expected to be about $49,000 a year, or about 125 percent of Pasco’s average wage.

Meopta manufactures and distributes precision optics mostly for military uses, Seipp said.

Its optics are used for binoculars as well as spotting and rifle scopes. Meopta also makes prisms, optical mirrors, periscopes for tanks and assemblies for the aerospace and medical industries.

“Our products flew on space shuttles,” Seipp said.

The Pasco Economic Development Council worked with county staff to recruit Meopta to Pasco.

The Pasco County Job Creation Incentive Program also will aid Meopta in filling job positions.

Seipp has met with representatives of AMskills, a Tampa Bay initiative that aids high school students, adults and veterans seeking manufacturing jobs.

Seipp is optimistic about the company’s future.

“I think 47 jobs is a start,” Seipp said. “We’re not going to stop there by a long shot.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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