- Bloomington, Indiana-based Cook Group, a medical device manufacturer, offers a no-cost employee training and career development programs that enable employees to earn their high school diploma and even an associate's degree. More than 30 people have already applied for the program.
- Indiana faces shortages in medical and other industries, and it's estimated that there are 30,000 adults who have not earned their high school diplomas. The Cook Group program opens up opportunities for this group of people so they can achieve their career and education goals simultaneously. It's a win-win for the company, since they are able to employ a more skilled labor force.
- “In the next few years, we know we’re going to have to attract and retain thousands of employees,” Cook Group President Pete Yonkman told INside Indiana Business. He adds that it will be critical to Cook that the people they hire have outstanding education and training under their belts.
The Bloomington, Indiana area currently has an unemployment rate that's above the national average (5.5% in June 2016) according to data from the US Department of Labor. However, companies like Cook Group and others in the rapidly growing medical industry need quality people to get the job done.
Because of the above-average amount of high school drop-outs and adults who have not earned at least a high school diploma, this poses a barrier to employment. The example of companies like the Cook Group that are stepping up to fill educational gaps should be considered by other organizations facing human capital shortages.