By   –  Reporter, Louisville Business First

Goodwill Industries of Kentucky and Norton Healthcare broke ground on the Norton Healthcare Goodwill Opportunity Campus at 28th Street and Broadway on Tuesday morning.

Together, Goodwill and Norton Healthcare are investing more than $100 million to transform a 20-acre brownfield site in the Parkland neighborhood into an “opportunity campus” that will include the 120,000-square-foot Goodwill Opportunity Center and Norton West Louisville Hospital, the first hospital in the area in more than 100 years.

“We decided to call this an opportunity campus, because the word opportunity means that conditions are ripe for success,” Luttrell said during the groundbreaking. “We see a lot of people who have never in their lives had conditions that were very favorable for their success, and when those conditions are favorable, we see them do great things.”

Among the organizations expected to have programs on the campus are Kentuckiana Works, YMCA of Greater Louisville, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Legal Aid Society. Park Community Credit Union will have a branch on the campus and will offer financial literacy classes.

Goodwill announced its partnership with Norton Healthcare in February. Norton Healthcare’s $70 million hospital will feature adult and pediatric care, a 24-hour emergency department, inpatient services and outpatient functions.

Russell Cox, CEO of Norton Healthcare, said the new hospital is an outgrowth of Norton’s commitment to health equity. He added that the facility will not only focus on primary care, but specialty care areas like women’s health and cardiology.

Cox said Norton is looking forward to collaborating with the health centers and independent providers that have served West Louisville for years.

“I want to thank them for all that they’ve done and will continue to do,” Cox said. “I’ve always believed that good things become great things when you partner with others who have common goals.”

Economic impact

Goodwill is expected to bring nearly 200 jobs to West Louisville that will pay an average of $59,000 a year. Luttrell said her organizations also expects to help nearly 600 people a year find employment.

Norton West Louisville Hospital is expected hire up to 150 workers in what Cox described as well-paying jobs. The company is already one of Louisville’s largest employers, with more than 14,400 local full-time employees in 2021, according to Business First research.

Luttrell said the estimated economic impact of the new campus is about $19 million annually.

The project will also create up to 400 construction jobs. Both Goodwill and Norton Healthcare plan to spend a minimum of 27% of their respective construction budgets for the campus with Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE) organizations and are committed to utilizing minority workers to fill a minimum of 25% of the jobs needed to build their facilities.

Additionally, Goodwill is encouraging vendors on the construction site to support its mission by hiring workers who live in West Louisville and also job seekers in need of second-chance employment opportunities.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, who was in attendance for the groundbreaking, called the Opportunity Campus another big economic win for the state following last year’s announcement of two electric vehicle battery plants. He promised more good things are coming to West Louisville.

“My commitment as governor is that this is not going to be the only time we announce a project of this size in this area,” Beshear said.

Several other politicians and community leaders were also on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony.

The Goodwill Opportunity Center is expected to be complete in 2023, while Norton Healthcare’s hospital is expected to be complete in 2024.