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, IMPACT Central Indiana, and the United Northeast Community Development Corporation partnered together to create opportunities for individual and community growth.
“As our communities evolve—and as philanthropy evolves—The Indianapolis Foundation continues to look for new and innovative ways to partner with the private sector, not-for-profits, other funders and our communities,” said Milt Thompson, board chair of The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF). “Our approach to philanthropy has evolved since the foundation was established over a century ago. We have expanded our work to not only address the shortcomings of our communities—providing food to those who are hungry, shelter to those who are unhoused and access to education for those without. We continue to do those things, but our recent shift is to also invest in our community’s future—to create opportunity that is equitable and to dismantle the generational barriers that stand between so many and the chance to reach their full potential. And with this investment of nearly $4 million through IMPACT Central Indiana, The Indianapolis Foundation is honored and proud to be a part of this partnership to help build this facility, create jobs and inspire economic development.”
“…our recent shift is to also invest in our community’s future—to create opportunity that is equitable and to dismantle the generational barriers that stand between so many and the chance to reach their full potential.”
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.
Rendering of new facility for Goodwill and Cook Medical development at 38th and Sheridan
“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 not-for-profits, 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.”
“With community partnerships and investments, together we can help create opportunity and utilize the gifts that all of our neighborhoods and communities have to offer.”
“IMPACT Central Indiana is committed to supporting businesses and enterprises that directly improve the lives in our under-appreciated neighborhoods and communities,” said Tom Kilian, president of IMPACT Central Indiana and Hamilton County Community Foundation. “These communities—and the residents who call them home—possess assets that have been untapped for generations. With community partnerships and investments, together we can help create opportunity and utilize the gifts that all of our neighborhoods and communities have to offer. This partnership highlights how we can ‘recycle’ philanthropy and leverage our assets to accelerate inclusive economic growth that truly works for everyone.”
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. Excess proceeds from the facility will be re-invested into the community in later years through the foundation.