Johnson & Johnson has plans to invest more than €100 million in the expansion of its Vistakon Ireland manufacturing operations in Limerick, creating 100 permanent production jobs in the process. The announcement was made by IDA Ireland, the national investment promotion agency, and was later confirmed by Richard Burton, the Irish minister for jobs, enterprise and innovation. The recruitment process for a first series of highly skilled, third-level positions is expected to be completed by mid-year, and 200 more temporary positions should be added during the 18 months of the construction phase. Vistakon Ireland designs, manufactures and markets the Acuvue range of soft disposable contact lenses. It is one of the companies that J&J operates in Ireland, where it employs a total of 1,900 people. Vistakon Ireland currently employs around 650 people at its plant in the National Technological Park, beside the University of Limerick, which opened its doors in 1996. The announcement of the new investment came as a significant boost to the Limerick region, which has been suffering from one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Vistakon Ireland has an extensive network of local and national suppliers for goods and services, all of which have a significant impact on the Irish economy.