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Welcome, all, and thanks for giving me the chance officially to welcome Goodwill Commercial Services to the Bloomington community. Special congratulations to Kent Kramer (President and CEO of Goodwill Commercial Services), for having gotten this facility up and running.  Of course, it’s also been crucial for this plant to get connected with clients, and for that, we thank the community partners who’ve gotten involved, and especially Cook, with the leadership of Pete Yonkman. 

The last twelve months have seen steady and significant additions to Bloomington’s industrial/manufacturing capacity -- in various sectors, on different scales, and with diverse employment opportunities -- all of which positions us extremely well in our city’s new economy.  

--Just under a year ago, we cut the ribbon at the Mill, where dozens of small, innovation-oriented startups have been incubating in the meantime, some of which -- such as -- have been acquired/have garnered national investment/attention.  

--in June, Catalent celebrated its investment in a new manufacturing facility in Patterson Drive, which will create more than 200 new good-paying jobs and reinforce Bloomington’s identity as a hub for the biomedical manufacturing industry.  

--with Goodwill’s expansion into Bloomington this summer, we add more light manufacturing to our city’s economic engine. This facility will serve as a valuable partner to existing and prospective partners, and not incidentally, provide jobs to members of our community who’ve traditionally encountered barriers, because of a disability or their history in the criminal justice system.  

We are particularly enthusiastic about this part of Goodwill’s mission. I know that I am joined by Pete and many local leaders to say that it is gratifying to welcome business to our community that is as committed to social goals as to the bottom line.  Just last month, during the 3rd annual opioid summit, much of our discussion centered on the role that meaningful, and gainful employment plays in recovery and anti-recidivism. Around the nation, employers are seeing positive outcomes when they take a chance on those who may have otherwise been disqualified because of prior arrests or convictions.  This practice is trending now, as one way of tackling the opioid crisis, but it’s nothing new for Goodwill. For almost 90 years in Central and Southern Indiana alone, Goodwill’s model of empowering people through education, health, and employment has changed countless Hoosier lives.  

Manufacturing is of course in the DNA of those in this area, so in many ways, this is a perfect pairing. Generations of folks at GE, Otis, RCA, etc. Need for continued training, etc.

As mayor, of course, I’m always cheered to see economic activity percolating in Bloomington. The arrival of Goodwill Commercial Services is no exception! But even more than that, I’m cheered to gain another corporate partner whose interest in Bloomington’s workforce extends beyond its capacity to enhance the company’s profit, but instead considers how the company might enhance the lives of the people who work for it.  When both aspects are taken into consideration, the sum is greater than its parts.  

With gratitude, and many wishes for great success here on Yost Avenue!  Thank you for helping Bloomington work!


 

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