Optics Company Plans to Layoff 145 Workers in Simpson

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LACKAWANNA COUNTY -- All 145 Gentex Optics employees in Simpson will lose their jobs this fall.

One the world's top optical firms, Essilor, runs the factory in Lackawanna County.

Employees were not expecting to hear the bad news.

"Everybody was upset. I've been with optics for 20 years, so it's a big blow," said Craig Greene, an Optics worker who will be laid off.

The optics portion of Gentex operates in building number 5, but come October 1st, everything will be taken out of the buildings and all 145 employees will be out of a job. One of those employees said he's just trying to stay positive.

"I think i'm going to take the opportunity and move on and start a new career," said Greene.

Greene moved to Simpson from Massachusetts in 2008 to further his career with the company that makes eyeglass lenses.

"They had a department here, which was my specialty there, so I was going to help with that and we were going to get better. But six years later, we didn't get better," said Greene.

An employee for Gentex Corporation, James Agentovich, which is under different ownership and makes military helmets, said he hopes his company wile hire the laid off optics workers. "I hope gentex, our side, lets them come over where we are. At least they'll still have a job and still be getting a check, ya know?"

An employee at a nearby mini-mart says the layoffs won't only affect the workers, but everyone in the area.

Jude Wasileski of A and C market said about 50 Gentex workers come into his shop every day. "Food of course, is not going to be sold as much because there's not going to be as many people. We're not going to be selling as much gas because people are not going to be coming down the street to go to work here."

As for Greene, he said the next few months will be an adjustment period for his family. "It's going to be tough, I was the only income so now my wife's got to go to work and I need to find something else to do."

Greene said Essilor is offering severance pay for employees.

Also, the State Labor Department's Rapid Response team is planning on-site services for dislocated workers starting in April.

Gentex Corporation will take over the optics building after October 1st. It is unclear if that company plans to hire any laid-off employees.


  • www.salesassociate.org

    What a bunch of crock! The “corporate job” model has failed and is not going to create anyone significant wealth working for “the man”. You have to think outside the box and make money on the side and create wealth on your own so you can enjoy life and do the things you want to do

  • jellystoneranger

    If people that vote Democrat don’t get it that Obama’s only agenda is to destroy the very foundation of this country they never will . Company after company is closing their doors because the economy is horrible. Ask yourself what are you purchasing that supports the economy. Most people are only buying essential food, clothing , gas for transportation. Yet the media and Democrats in Washington continue to lie about the state of the union. They want to enslave everyone they can into the entitlement system to get their votes. Stand up and vote for conservative principles that created the greatest nation in the history of mankind . Yeah , Ceo’s of major corporations make a lot of money . When their businesses are booming they hire people that pay well so they can build more widgets. No demand = no jobs . Simple . Democrat politicians take care of themselves and the unions that support them. Believe me that isn’t enough votes to get them re-elected. They need the sheeple blindly voting democrat because their daddy and his daddy voted democrat . For what ? ! More misery ? Wake up!

  • Jim Brony

    I’m so glad that Obama said that the economy has turned around and unemployment is lower than when he took office. Can we all vote for him again? Gas prices are down, our friends overseas all love the USA, and all of troops are home. Thanks Obammy!

    • JK

      Yeah Obama is the best! Things are so much better since he took office! NOT! It’s so nice too that since we have no jobs to pay taxes, he hasn’t left that interfere with his constant vacations. Just charge it to the next 100 generations who have to pay for this mess.

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