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Minority contractors selected to build new medical manufacturing facility in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Bloomington-based company is sticking to its commitment to diversity as it builds a new facility in Indianapolis.

Cook Medical vowed to hire only minority contractors for the project. Harmon Construction representatives said the current push for more diversity, equity and inclusion helped make something like this a reality.

“We’ve taken that bull by the horn. It’s a 100% minority project built in the neighborhood and we’re working with people in the neighborhood,” Harmon Construction CEO Bill Harmon said.

Harmon has served Indiana for three generations. And for this project, the company is brining in 20 other companies headed by other minorities, women and veterans.

“If you were to have asked that question before, no,” Willie Harmon, the company’s president, said. “In our wildest dreams did we ever think we were going to get where we are at now? But the last couple years has changed that priority.”

The manufacturing facility sits in the heart of a predominately Black community where many live near the poverty line. It is estimated more than 100 jobs will be created.

“They’ve bound together all these other minority contractors to participate in some form or fashion,” Nick Lunn, the owner of Cornerstone Construction, said. “That’s huge.”

Lunn also works with the Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council, an agency that helps foster relationships between minority-owned businesses and corporations.

“We’re all blended together to make something very beautiful, which is our community,” he said.

Lunn says it’s vital work, as minorities often lose out on major contracts. But the Harmons say this opportunity is a step in the right direction.

“It’s not just Cook, Goodwill,” Bill Harmon said. “We’ve had many new customers within the last year knock on our door.”

Project representatives say they hope to have things wrapped up in the next few weeks, and will be planning a community open house.