INDIANAPOLIS — On the east side of Indianapolis there is investment, construction and 100 jobs coming to the area.
"We knew that there were people in Indiana who need help, who need opportunity, who were ready for opportunity. We wanted to impact a community of color and we wanted to impact a community that was looking for opportunity," Pete Yonkman said.
Bloomington-based Cook Medical didn't have to look far to find the right fit. In 2021 the area near 38th and Sheridan will be home to a new 40,000 square foot manufacturing facility. An abandoned church that sits there now is in the process of being demolished. Pete Yonkman, the president of Cook Group and Cook Medical, says their future workers will make catheters, needles, wire and other devices doctors use during surgery.
"That's one of the things that we take a lot of pride in. We don't make cell phones. We make products that help save people's lives," said Yonkman.
Goodwill Industries will operate the building for Cook Medical, and hire employees, while offering wrap around services like mental and physical health services, and support for substance use disorders support. But before the first employee reports for work, Cook medical has set a goal to hire all minority contractors to build the faculty.
"Our goal is to hire people as close and as local to the community as we can. We don't want this to be a facility where people drive in and drive out. We want this to be part of the community," Yonkman said.
Yonkman says everything about the project is intentional, from its location along the future IndyGo Purple Line to the company program giving workers access to free education beginning at the high school level and continuing all the way up to a master's degree.
Local community leader Ashley Gurvitz says her east side community is excited about the change and opportunity that could have a lasting impact. "When we look at a neighborhood like 46226, 218 or 205 often or not we've been overlooked or opportunities have been never fully delivered. I'm really excited to see once everything is fully operational and hearing the stories to come even further when the next generation is leading our area," said Gurvitz.
The hiring process for the future Cook Medical facility on the east side will begin in January. Most production positions begin at $13 an hour.