How a Unique Partnership Between Neighbors, a Medical Device Company, Government, and Non-Profits is Changing an Indianapolis Community
Bloomington, Ind. – A unique partnership designed to bring jobs, free education, wrap around services and community ownership to a new medical device manufacturing facility was announced today on the northeast side of Indianapolis.
Located at the corner of Sheridan Street and 38th Street, this location was chosen because residents face high rates of poverty and unemployment. To help address some of those challenges, Cook Medical, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana, The Indianapolis Foundation, and the United Northeast Community Development Corporation partnered together to create opportunities for individual and community growth.
Employees will manufacture medical devices such as introducers, sheaths, drainage catheters, and needles for Cook Medical as employees of Goodwill Commercial Services. This high-skill manufacturing training will provide employees opportunities for long-term employment and career progression. Through Goodwill, the facility will also offer wrap around services, such as mental and physical health support, substance use disorder support, soft skills training, housing stabilization, and other services necessary to remove barriers to socioeconomic progress. Employees can also advance their education for free, from a high school diploma through a master’s degree, as well as other certifications.
“All progress moves at the speed of trust,” said Ashley Gurvitz, chief operating officer and executive director of United Northeast CDC. “With the inclusive actions that Cook Medical and Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana have exhibited, we truly trust and thank them not only for this economic opportunity, but also for being a collaborative catalyst so our community can thrive in our own backyard.”
This unique partnership of nonprofits, community, government and business was developed to maximize the connection between business and community.
“It is a win for everyone involved, including the community itself. We hope that this model can serve as an example and inspire other businesses and organizations to join us,” said Pete Yonkman, president of Cook Group and Cook Medical. “The challenges of generational poverty, substance use disorder, and barriers to education confront countless communities across Indiana. If owners and leaders of companies in Indiana join us in bringing jobs and opportunity back, we believe it’s possible to rebuild the middle class in our state.”
In addition to empowering employees to reach their full potential, this facility will serve the community at large. The goal is that all construction on the site will be completed by local, minority-owned businesses. The new Goodwill Commercial Services building will be owned by a newly formed 501(c)2 entity that will make distributions back to The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF). Excess proceeds from the facility will be used for community development. This includes providing small business loans, sponsoring community clean-up projects, and more.