Cook Group celebrates workforce opportunity milestone
Bloomington, Ind. – June marked the first anniversary of the My Cook Pathway program, Cook Group’s workforce initiative. The program provides Cook employees with education and career development opportunities through financial assistance. Cook first launched the program by announcing partnerships with Monroe County Community Schools Adult Education at Broadview Learning Center and Ivy Tech Community College that provide new pathways towards career opportunities with Cook.
“Launching the My Cook Pathway program has been one of the biggest highlights of the last year for us,” said Pete Yonkman, president of Cook Medical and Cook Group. “We’ve already had 30 employees earn their college degree or high school equivalency from My Cook Pathway. We look forward to more success stories emerging from this program.”
One of the opportunities through My Cook Pathway is for individuals who do not have a high school diploma to work part-time while attending a free seven-week preparatory class to earn their high school equivalency (HSE). Upon successful completion of their HSE, these employees will become eligible for a full-time position at Cook. Through this program, 17 employees have received their HSE.
In addition to continuing the HSE program, Cook expanded its higher education offerings through its Achieve Your Degree partnership with Ivy Tech Community College. The program now offers 10 areas of study, including new opportunities in engineering technology, accounting and supply chain management. The Achieve Your Degree program is also growing beyond Bloomington as Cook has worked with Ivy Tech to offer courses in French Lick and West Baden and at the Lafayette campus.
Since the launch of My Cook Pathway, Cook has seen an increase of employees participating in the tuition assistance program.
“When we offered tuition reimbursement, 75 employees had participated in the program in North America. Since we began offering upfront tuition assistance to employees last year, the number has increased to more than 600 active participants, with about half of them enrolled at Ivy Tech,” said Yonkman.
Cook Group companies outside of Indiana have also partnered with local higher education institutions. Employees at Cook’s Canton, Illinois, location can participate in a program similar to Achieve Your Degree at Spoon River College, and plans are underway to offer a program to employees in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
About Cook Medical
Since 1963 Cook Medical has worked closely with physicians to develop technologies that eliminate the need for open surgery. Today we are combining medical devices, biologic materials and cellular therapies to help the world’s healthcare systems deliver better outcomes more efficiently. We have always remained family owned so that we have the freedom to focus on what we care about: patients, our employees and our communities. Find out more at www.cookmedical.com, and for the latest news, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Interested in more information?
Media fact sheet
My Cook Pathway Media Factsheet 2017
Past news on the award-winning program
Cook’s High School Equivalency program featured in The Herald-Times
Cook Medical, Ivy Tech and Zumasys partner to create career-ready coursework
Cook Medical receives adult education award
Cook Group awarded the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce 2016 Workforce Development Award
Cook education partnership featured on Inside Indiana Business
Cook Group partners with Ivy Tech Bloomington and Broadview Learning Center to launch new workforce education initiatives