Bloomington, Ind. – On Friday, June 17, Cook Group, Monroe County Community Schools Adult Education at Broadview Learning Center and Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington announced their partnership to create a new pathway between education and jobs in our community. According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, 737,000 Hoosiers have some college experience, but did not complete a degree. Cook’s education initiatives are designed to provide employees a pathway toward new career opportunities.

“Business is constantly changing and we want to provide our current and future employees the opportunity to evolve with us,” said Pete Yonkman, president of Cook Medical and Cook Group. “We recently redesigned our education assistance program to eliminate financial barriers so employees can increase their education and career opportunities with company support.”

Part of the redesigned education program includes a collaboration with Ivy Tech Bloomington called Achieve Your Degree. At no cost to the employee, this program allows participants to earn a certificate in seven programs including biotechnology, business administration, hospitality and various computing and informatics tracks. They can also continue their education by earning an Associate degree in these curricula developed for Cook.

“The partnership between Ivy Tech Bloomington and Cook is really a win-win,” said Jennie Vaughan, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Bloomington. “We have had success with the Achieve Your Degree program with other companies and are excited to expand the program to Cook.”

The partnership with Ivy Tech Bloomington is just one example of the new education initiatives within Cook. In addition to higher education, Cook has worked with Broadview Learning Center to develop a program for employees to work part-time while they pursue their High School Equivalency (HSE).

Individuals in Southwest Central Indiana interested in working at Cook who do not have a high school diploma or HSE will be eligible to participate in the program after successfully completing the preemployment screening process. After attending the free seven-week preparatory class at Ivy Tech, then taking and passing the Test Assessing Secondary Completion to obtain their HSE, individuals will become eligible for a full-time position at Cook.

“More than 5,000 adults in Monroe County do not have a high school diploma or equivalency,” said Rob Moore, director of adult education at Broadview Learning Center. “For many, the lack of this credential is a barrier to employment in jobs that pay wages sufficient to support a family. We are excited about our partnership to create opportunities at Cook for those who previously did not qualify for employment.”

“We want to keep hardworking and talented people in Indiana by creating opportunities for career advancement,” said Yonkman. “Making education accessible and attainable provides stability for Cook employees and their families which can lead to career growth within the organization. We believe that lifelong learning is not only good for individuals, but also their families and communities.”

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, and for the latest news, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington
Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington ( was established in 2001 and opened in 2002. Though the region has a six-county service area including Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Morgan and Owen counties, it serves students from nearly all Indiana counties. Ivy Tech Bloomington enrolls approximately 6,200 students per semester, up from 2,600 when it opened. In 2007, the campus was named the third-fastest growing community college in the nation according to Community College Week. Ivy Tech Bloomington recently expanded its main campus and named the new space the Cook Pavilion. The Cook Pavilion contains a new library, bookstore, lecture hall, culinary wing, outdoor patio space, a Bloomingfoods café, and additional classrooms and labs, including an advanced automation and robotics technology lab.

About Broadview Learning Center
Broadview Learning Center ( is the adult education program through Monroe County Community School Corporation. The Center provides courses for students preparing for the Indiana High School Equivalency Diploma, which can be earned after completing a test in five subject areas (math, reading, writing, science and social studies). The skills taught and eventually tested on are at the same level as those of graduating high school seniors. The program also has courses to help adults learn English as a Second Language and prepare to enter postsecondary education, job training, and employment.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.