A new manufacturing facility on the northeast side will bring up to 100 jobs that will average $16 an hour and include wraparound support in education, housing and health.
Cook Medical and Goodwill Commercial Services partnered to build the facility on the vacant property at the northwest corner of 38th Street and Sheridan Avenue. The Indianapolis Foundation and Alliance for Northeast Unification (ANU) are also part of the project.
The medical manufacturing facility — which will produce introducers, sheets, drainage, catheters and needles for Cook Medical — will be in the 46218 ZIP code, where almost three-quarters of the population is Black. Median household income is just under $25,000, less than half of the state median.
“Hope is coming in the form of collective empowerment,” Ashley Gurvitz, executive director and CEO of ANU, said during a virtual announcement Nov. 18.
Pete Yonkman, president of Bloomington-based Cook Medical, said ANU was an important partner because it allowed the development team to get to know residents. Some were honest about their skepticism, Yonkman said, because they’ve seen projects come through before and not deliver on the hype.
Yonkman believes this project can excel in part because of Goodwill’s involvement. Employees will have access to free education — from a high school diploma up to a master’s degree — along with other supports and benefits.
“We’re gonna work hard to live up to your expectations and to be a partner in your work,” Yonkman said.
Project partners said their goal is to hire from the surrounding community and to have all contractors be 100% minority-owned businesses.
City-County Councilor Keith Graves, who represents District 13, said people in the community have seen too much job loss over the years.
“So it is with open arms that we welcome the jobs that you will help us create,” he said.
Mayor Joe Hogsett also talked about reigniting some of the “manufacturing might” that east side residents used to know and said the project will hopefully be the start of broader community development.
Cook Medical will purchase the property and donate it to the project. Central Indiana Community Foundation will own the facility on behalf of the community, and Goodwill will manage operations.
The building is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.