YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – As more Americans worked from home in 2020, the optical industry saw demand surge in the summer and fall. As a result, Central One Optical invested in new equipment and personnel.
Central One purchased state-of-the-art lens finishing equipment last year, allowing the wholesale optical supply and laboratory provider to raise daily production at its Youngstown site by 500 pairs of eyewear.
“This added infrastructure is vital for us to serve eye care professionals in the Mahoning Valley with a level of expedience and precision they can be proud of,” says Jennifer Morton, vice president of marketing.
During the pandemic, Central One donated personal protective equipment to the medical community, including N95 masks, protective gloves and hand sanitizer. It also offered a solution for lens fog, a challenge for those who wear eyeglasses and a face mask. Fog Killers microfiber cloths apply a hydrophilic treatment to lenses when used to clean glasses.
Through its partnership with Essilor, Central One promoted its blue-light filtering lenses and coatings that protect wearers from blue-violet light transmitted from tablets, laptops and cellphones. Blue-violet light can exacerbate the onset of macular degeneration and disrupt sleep patterns, an issue that’s increased as more people work from home, according to Morton.
“Educating medical professionals, as well as patients, has become a core objective to ensure we are meeting the ever-changing needs of the eyewear consumer,” she says.
In April, the company welcomed Rodney Remsey as general manager, who brings more than two decades of experience leading a team that manufactured 5,000 pairs of eyewear daily. He looks to enhance cohesiveness among company departments.
“I saw my opportunity much like a conductor looks at an orchestra,” Remsey says. “In bringing the unique categories of instruments together, we are able to produce a beautiful musical score as one unit.”