Cook is a family company founded in 1963 and has grown into a global, multicultural organization. We were founded on core values of mutual respect, acting with integrity, and deeply committing to the quality of products and services we provide for patients and customers. Racism and injustice exist everywhere and adversely impact human dignity as well as access to education, jobs, housing, justice, and healthcare. Injustice and intolerance must be addressed, both within Cook and in our broader communities; we recognize our own responsibility to make the necessary changes.
To that end, we commit to a conscientious effort to remove barriers that block progress for people and communities. We affirmatively commit to having zero tolerance for and standing against racism, inequality, and discrimination in all forms. We declare our shared commitment to listen to, learn from, and empower our employees and communities to make impactful changes toward combating racism.
We stand together with our Cook families and their global communities to combat any form of racism. We can and will do more to create a more equitable society that allows all of us to reach our full potential.
In June, we established an Equity Task Force to ensure that Cook is a place that provides equal opportunity and understanding for everyone. Through education, internal initiatives, and more focused involvement within our communities, we believe that Cook can help remove the barriers that many people have historically faced and continue to encounter.
We have established objectives to guide our efforts, including:
- Align our Code of Conduct and policies with our stance on racism.
- Complete unconscious bias training for all employees, including a library of supplemental tools and micro-learning experiences.
- Develop a podcast and video series that shares employee experiences for increased awareness of the presence and impact of racism.
- Intentionally increase the diversity of our internship candidate pool and develop a process to sustain that diversity.
- Intentionally increase the diversity of our permanent hiring pool and implement a process to sustain that diversity.
- Expand our global commitment to community engagement and identify new opportunities to remove barriers for people of color.
We will continue our work to build pathways to upward mobility, personal growth, and career fulfillment for the most vulnerable people in our community. Here’s where we’ve started:
- We have implemented a program that allows people to join Cook even if they have not yet earned their high school diploma. Participants work part-time in the morning and go to school in the afternoon while earning a full-time paycheck. Once a participant joins Cook they, like all employees, are eligible to progress to a Master’s degree with no expense to the employee.
- Since the start in 2016, over 1500 employees have participated in the program, advancing their education.
- Visit our website to learn more about My Cook Pathway.
- We have established partnerships with multiple organizations that specifically hire people transitioning out of incarceration to provide light manufacturing or service work for their employees.
- Cook partnered with Goodwill to start their Commercial Services center in Bloomington, which currently has 30+ employees with plans to expand further.
- Read this article about our ongoing partnership with Goodwill.
- Cook partners with RecycleForce to offer free electronic recycling days for the community. RecycleForce employs people who were previously incarcerated.
- RecycleForce processes 209,000 pounds of recycling and serves more than 400 individuals each year.
- Big Boys Moving
- Cook contracts with Big Boys Moving to provide work opportunities such as office furniture and equipment moving, cardboard recycling, landscaping, and car detailing to Big Boys Moving employees in support of their mission.
- We have co-led community-wide efforts to develop solutions for vulnerable populations in our community, particularly those who are struggling with substance use disorder or are experiencing homelessness.
- One example is the Stride Coalition, which Cook co-founded and has helped raise 2 million dollars for the opening of the Stride Center in Bloomington, IN.
- Visit stridecoalition.org for more information.
- We partner with Stone Belt, an organization that helps individuals with mental and physical disabilities lead fulfilling lives, by providing light contracting work for their clients. In 2019, Stone Belt employed 75 people with disabilities and the supplied Cook with more than 5 million units.
- Watch this video to learn more about our partnership with Stone Belt.
Our efforts have been successful in helping people in our community overcome barriers to upward mobility. We will use these same skills, opportunities, and resources to impact communities of color and work to remove the barriers of racism.
Though we are proud of the work we’ve done so far, there are areas where we can and will do more. Racism has no place at Cook. It does not align with our values, our purpose, or our business. We are dedicated to doing whatever we can to improve our ability to serve all employees, their families, and communities. We challenge you to take action as well—let’s work to make this world better, together.