Dozens of community members, city leaders and corporate partners celebrated the opening of a new Cook Medical manufacturing facility Wednesday in the Northeast Indianapolis neighborhood.
It's part of the 38th & Sheridan project, a collaboration with Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana aimed to provide job opportunities and increased access to basic services for nearby residents.
The 38th Street area has long been a marker for some of the city’s highest unemployment rates and lowest life expectancy. Abandoned buildings and hazardous roads reflect decades of disinvestment in the community.
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Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb was one of many who spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony. He said he believes community-based revitalization efforts, like this one, improve quality of life.
“You have lit up a pathway for people, our neighbors, to get on a trail to that upward mobility,” he said. “To get on a trail toward pride, dignity, being able to give back to the society themselves.”
The site was built mostly by minority contractors and will eventually include a grocery store, called the Indy Fresh Market.
Goodwill will provide 100 production jobs and continue to prioritize hiring within the immediate community.
“With this medical manufacturing hub and all the good paying jobs that go along with it, it will reignite some of the manufacturing might that this area -- and Indianapolis generally -- has relied on for stability and widely shared prosperity,” said Indianapolis mayor Joe Hogsett.
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Employees will receive wrap-around services, including mental healthcare, housing support. They will also have access to free high school or college education.
The space was purchased by Cook Medical but will be operated by Central Indiana Community Foundation. They plan to use any excess funds on further community development.
Contact WFYI economic equity reporter Sydney Dauphinais at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @syddauphinais.