Today’s ribbon cutting ceremony marks a new beginning in a community that was once forgotten.
Indianapolis, Ind. — A unique partnership between neighbors, a medical device company, government and non-profits today marks an important milestone today at 38th and Sheridan in Northeast Indianapolis. After 18-months, the Goodwill Commercial Services manufacturing facility, a manufacturer of Cook Medical devices, held a ribbon cutting ceremony which marks a milestone for a community that has been hit hard in past decades with job loss, poverty and high crime.
“It’s a day of celebration for our community. Northeast Indy was once a forgotten community,” said Ashley Gurvitz, chief operating officer and executive director of United Northeast CDC. “Not only is this facility bringing 100 jobs to the area but it’s encouraging other organizations to look at Northeast Indy as an area of opportunity. Today is truly a new beginning.”
When the project was announced in November 2020, Cook Medical also announced that the site would contract with 100% minority-owned construction companies. Through the help of The Darden Group, Harmon Construction, a third-generation family-owned contractor, was named the general contractor. Contractors with Harmon are 97% Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and 100% XBE (any combination of Women-, Veteran-, Disability-, and Minority-owned Business Enterprises) certified by either the state of Indiana or the city of Indianapolis.
“We have a core belief that companies can do good business and do good in the world, at the same time,” said Pete Yonkman, president of Cook Medical and Cook Group. “We had a business need to increase our capacity to manufacture medical devices. When we came together to collaborate with partners like Goodwill, CICF and the community in Northeast Indy, we knew 38th and Sheridan was the place to grow. It’s about the partnership and the people that we’ve met here that have made this project possible.”
Through Goodwill, the facility will 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.
“Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana has been providing jobs and job training services to Hoosiers with limited employment opportunities for more than 90 years, but this project is in a league of its own, and we’re grateful to the Cook Medical team and the community in northeast Indianapolis for choosing us as a partner,” said Kent Kramer, president and CEO of Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana. “Goodwill changes lives by empowering people to increase their independence and reach their potential, and I’m excited to see the impact of this project on residents today and for generations to come.”
About the project
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. Employees can also advance their education for free, from a high school diploma through a master’s degree, as well as other certifications.
In addition to empowering employees to reach their full potential, this facility will serve the community at large. The new Goodwill Commercial Services building is 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.
About Cook Medical
Since 1963, Cook Medical has worked closely with physicians to develop technologies that eliminate the need for open surgery. Today we invent, manufacture, and deliver a unique portfolio of medical devices to the healthcare systems of the world. Serving patients is a privilege and we demand the highest standards of quality, ethics, and service. We have remained family owned so that we have the freedom to focus on what we care about: our patients, our employees, and our communities.
We believe that it’s possible to do good business while doing good in our communities. We’re proud to work in collaboration with partners on a community development effort by building both a manufacturing site and a grocery store in Indianapolis. Located at the northwest corner of 38th Street and Sheridan Avenue, the project will help people and communities reach their full potential. Find out more: www.38thAndSheridan.com.
News coverage of this announcement
WIBC/WIBC.com – Cook Medical Opens Eastside Plant Envisioned As Spark For Redevelopment
WISHTV – Minority-built Cook Medical manufacturing facility opens on east side
Indianapolis Recorder – Photos: Cook Medical opens new facility at 38th and Sheridan
WFYI – Manufacturing facility open in Indianapolis as part of neighborhood reinvestment project
Inside Indiana Business –
Web: Cook Medical Manufacturing Plant to Open in Indy
TV: Yonkman: New Indy Plant Represents ‘Holistic Approach’
TV: Cook Celebrates Grand Opening of New Manufacturing Facility
Radio/Enews: Cook President Hopes Indy Plant Becomes Model for Future