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Wisconsin Vision, Inc.

An eye care provider with a progressive view on workers’ rights and quality patient care.

In Partnership With: UFCW 

An eye care provider with a progressive view on workers’ rights

At a Glance

Established in 1978, Wisconsin Vision, Inc. is the largest independently owned and operated optical provider in America’s heartland; the company also operates under the name Heartland Vision in IN and IL, and operates a lab, LBC Optics.

Headquarters
New Berlin, WI

Website
www.wisconsinvision.com

Industry
Optical Eye Care

Union Employees
130 sales, opticians, and lab technicians

Total Employees
200

Annual Revenues
N/A

Outlets
27 locations in WI, IL and IN

Wisconsin Vision runs full-service optical eye care centers, examining patients’ eyesight, selling optical accessories, and producing contact lens and frames in its own laboratories throughout the Midwest. The company has built successful one-stop shops for everything vision related, while earning a reputation for its outstanding record on union-management relations.

At Wisconsin Vision, employees view their work as a long-term career, not just a job—a direct result of the benefits the company provides and a healthy workplace relationship. The forward-thinking company has a long history of respecting its workers’ rights, allowing its staff to freely choose a union with the United Food and Commercial Workers through majority sign-up a year after it started its business. The negotiated contract provides salaries above industry averages and offers affordable health, dental, vision, and retirement benefits. They also have family-friendly leave benefits, including paid vacation, sick days, and family and medical leave. As Darren Horndasch, President of Wisconsin Vision, articulates, “If our employees are happy and knowledgeable, they are going to have a great interaction with patients. That’s great for business because it builds relationships with our patients.”

While opticians are not required by law to become certified by the American Board of Opticianry, Wisconsin Vision encourages its employees to do so by paying for their exam and giving bonuses for achieving certification. As new technologies emerge in the industry, the company hosts training sessions so staff can give the best patient care possible. This professional development, combined with the precision by which the company’s employees do their work, creates measurable results. Wisconsin Vision’s ‘remake’ rate, when eyewear measurements are off, is only 8.5 percent – well below the industry average of about 15 percent.

For 15 years, Wisconsin Vision has given back to its community, including providing free eyeglasses to displaced families. This commitment to ensuring all families in need have the same opportunities in life that employees at Wisconsin Vision enjoy is why Horndasch has thrown his full support behind the Employee Free Choice Act. He has publicly supported the bill by participating in a panel and signing a support statement, as well as joining a national coalition of entrepreneurs and business owners, Business Leaders for a Fair Economy. The eyewear company should be commended for its 20/20 vision on how respecting workers’ rights is a solution, not a hindrance, to successful business operations.