Cook Medical's 40,000-sq.-ft. medical device manufacturing facility in Indianapolis nears completion, slated to begin production in Q1 of 2022; facility was constructed using 100% local, diverse vendors, aims to hire all employees from local neighborhoods

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INDIANAPOLIS , January 24, 2022 (press release) –

Indiana University’s Public Policy Institute (PPI) estimates that Bloomington, Indiana based Cook Medical’s medical device manufacturing facility nearing completion at 38th & Sheridan in Indianapolis will have an estimated economic impact of $25.9 million annually for Marion County.

The $15 million, 40,000 sq. foot facility, which plans to begin production in the first quarter of this year, was constructed using 100% local, diverse (minority, women, disability and veteran-owned) vendors and strives to hire its 100 employees from the surrounding neighborhood.

Cook and its partners engaged the IU Public Policy Institute to model the immediate and future economic impacts of the 38th and Sheridan project, provide a set of recommendations on instruments and metrics that will provide feedback on the project’s community impact and employment outcomes over time, and enable a long-term evaluation of this important and innovative project. An overview of their findings can be found here, with deeper dives into redevelopment without displacement here, dynamic system partnerships here, and reimaging economic development investment here.

“The community has been very clear that they wanted us to build with them, not on them. Every step of this project has been designed with that in mind,” said Pete Yonkman, president of Cook Medical and Cook Group. “We hope that the PPI study offers a roadmap for other businesses to follow. Our communities desperately need the resources, expertise and skills that industry can bring to the table.”

Cook Medical, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana, The Indianapolis Foundation, and the United Northeast Community Development Corporation are project partners. Employees, who will manufacture medical devices such as sheaths and drainage catheters, will be employees of Goodwill Commercial Services. In addition to long-term employment and skills development, the facility will also offer holistic employee 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. Investing in employees through education is one of the best ways to help them achieve personal and career goals.

In its report, PPI dubs the relationship between Cook and the neighborhood partners as “unique,” calling out Cook’s interest not only in the success of the facility but in the success of the residents, with an emphasis on improving quality of life.

Yonkman, who regularly attends neighborhood meetings, credits the strong collaboration of project partners in driving it toward success.

“Unfortunately, the challenges we face as a society can’t be solved with high level policies alone. If they could, they would have already been fixed,” Yonkman said. “Real solutions come from open, honest, on-the-ground collaboration between government, not for profits, communities, industry, and neighbors. If any one of those stakeholders aren’t at the table, we limit our chances of success.”

“It is expected that this intentional effort will provide improved economic stability and result in personal and professional growth opportunities and an enhanced quality of life for employees and members of their households. Additionally, the hope is that, by hiring neighborhood residents, those employees and their households will contribute to a higher quality of life in the neighborhood.” – PPI Report on “Understanding and tracking impacts of the 38th Street and Sheridan Avenue community collaboration”

Additional results of the in-depth study found:

  • One-time estimated construction-related economic contributions of $24 million (construction, design, wages)
  • Estimated annual wages of $3.1 million for the facility’s 100 full-time employees, which does not include benefits
  • When the manufacturing facility reaches 100 full-time workers, it is expected to add $25.9 million per year to the Marion County economy from direct, indirect and induced spending. Indirect spending is purchase of supplies and services used by the manufacturing facility and induced spending is the effect of spending by employees.
  • Purchases of supplies, services plus employee spending are expected to generate an additional 52 full-time jobs in the local economy and initially, $4.1 million in additional wages and benefits for each year of operation.

Yonkman noted this was not merely an exercise in philanthropy. “Philanthropy is important but insufficient to tackle the challenges we face. As business leaders we should understand that our core business opportunities can also be catalysts of community improvement.  It is possible to do good business and good in the community at the same time.

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.

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