Cook Medical world headquarters is at 750 Daniels Way, west of Bloomington. (Chris Howell / Herald-Times)
Cook Medical world headquarters is at 750 Daniels Way, west of Bloomington. (Chris Howell / Herald-Times)
Bloomington business leaders including Cook Medical President Pete Yonkman say the tight local housing market is making it more difficult to retain and recruit talented employees who are critical to the local economy’s growth.

They also said slower economic growth has far-reaching consequences on areas including innovation, taxation and quality of schools.

Yonkman told The Herald-Times the company has taken a broad approach to enable people with opportunities to enter the workforce and provide them with upward mobility. But those efforts, from programs to help former prisoners, people who lack the right education and people with disabilities, are being undermined by the high local housing costs.

Yonkman said company surveys of employees show a majority believe they have to live outside of the area to be able to afford a home.

“They’re moving farther and farther away, because they can’t find any affordable housing,” Yonkman said. “That’s a real challenge for us.”

The company is trying to hire 300 employees, and the tight housing market in Bloomington is making that more challenging. A new higher minimum wage for Cook hourly employees will go into effect May 2.
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