Bloomington based Cook Medical’s new Indianapolis manufacturing plant could mean 200 jobs over the next several years, but the jobs and the $15 million investment are only part of the story. Employees at the plant, which officially opened last week, will come from the neighborhood around East 38th Street and Sheridan Avenue, which has been struggling economically for years.

“It’s right on the middle of the community and people are going to have access to free education,” said Cook Medical President Pete Yonkman. “Goodwill will run and operate this facility, which means they bring their wrap around services, so things like life coaches, people who can help them coordinate schedules if they are coming out of prison, get them a license, find them a place to live. It really is more of a holistic approach to how can we part of a community and help build up the skills and the resources that people need to make this community a successful place.”

Yonkman talked about the plant and its potential impact on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.

Cook, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana and the Central Indiana Community Foundation announced plans for the 40,000-square-foot plant in November 2020. The building will be owned by CICF and managed by Goodwill Commercial Services and will produce medical devices such as drainage catheters and needles as a supplier for Cook.

The plant is opening with a full staff of 20 employees. Yonkman says as time goes on, the facility will take on new products every quarter and there will be room to grow that number to about 200.