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INDUSTRY

WEST DES MOINES IS A PERFECT PLACE FOR YOUR COMPANY'S NEXT OPPORTUNITY.

The West Des Moines community is one that’s suitable for all companies. With its diversity in businesses and business districts, it’s a perfect place for your company’s next opportunity. From corporate headquarters and data centers to sole proprietor operations, West Des Moines has just what you’re looking for.

TOP EMPLOYERS INCLUDE

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FINANCIAL SERVICES / INSURANCE

Finance & Insurance is a significant part of West Des Moines’ economy. Within Polk and Dallas Counties there are approximately 48,000 persons employed in the industry and 1,400 business establishments. Many parts of the industry have seen growth over the last five or ten years. The region has built at strong workforce for Finance & Insurance, which is a key component to its success in West Des Moines. There is appropriate infrastructure and support from educational institutions to lay the platform for future growth.

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Existing Employment Base
Six of the ten largest employers in West Des Moines are financial services and insurance companies; and, with a strong location quotient, it is the most concentrated industry cluster in the City, accounting for 20% of jobs.
EXCELLENT OFFICE SPACE & TRANSIT ACCESS
Financial support organizations (e.g. back office/IT) often look to smaller metro areas when relocating and the availability of high-quality office space and large campus tracts is a major asset for West Des Moines in continuing to grow this cluster. The City’s strong office market will continue to perfectly position West Des Moines on top of site selectors’ lists within this industry. In addition, with the Des Moines International Airport only six miles away and some of the shortest traffic commute times in the country, the City continues to be a desirable place for the industry’s workforce, including traveling executives.
COMPETITIVE COST ENVIRONMENT
Not only does West Des Moines offer affordable utilities and attractive wage levels that are attractive to this industry, but in a time of economic volatility, West Des Moines is a consistently stable market. Yet another competitive advantage West Des Moines has is its location within the Central Standard Time zone, which is convenient for companies with nationwide operations.
SUPPORTIVE STRUCTURAL ASSETS
Industry firms require reliable, affordable power, telecom, and other ISP services. Not only are West Des Moines’ utilities generally less expensive than other major financial service and insurance hubs, but the City has a strong reputation of meeting companies’ communications (and other) infrastructure needs quickly. Tax Increment Financing programs continue to be utilized for roadway and infrastructure support.
PROXIMITY TO EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS OFFERING BUSINESS PROGRAMS
The region includes a number of postsecondary institutions with business and finance programs. Drake University has undergraduate majors in Actuarial Sciences, Finance, International Business, and Management; and graduate degrees in Business through the College of Business and Public Administration. The DMACC West campus offers a Business Administration college transfer program, as well as a partnership between DMACC and Grand View College that allows students to work towards an Associate’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration simultaneously. In addition, West Des Moines is only forty-five minutes away from Iowa State University and two hours from the University of Iowa.
Highly Educated Population
The population of West Des Moines has a high level of educational attainment. Fifty-seven percent of adults age 25 and older have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, much higher than in-state, regional, and national figures. This is particularly critical because this industry consists of many occupations that require postsecondary degrees (e.g. managerial, sales agents, loan officers, etc.).

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Information Technology Services include both telecommunications and data hosting services, along with computer systems design and related services. This industry, has seen local growth due to the expansion of the data centers within West Des Moines. The Information Technology industry sector can benefit from the low utility costs of West Des Moines and the presence of West Des Moines Business Incubator, particularly for applications development and programming startups. West Des Moines’ proximity to local colleges and universities allows us unique partnerships to develop the industry’s talent pipeline and for development of the next wave of entrepreneurs.

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SKILLED TALENT
Skilled talent is a critical need Educated workforce with technical backgrounds areas with an established pipeline of young professionals with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math programs will provide a deep talent base upon which to recruit and nurture high-impact and competitive industries such as IT. The population in the West Des Moines region has high levels of educational attainment (with data showing many with computer software engineering and of any new business landing a new community. West Des Moines boasts a highly educated workforce, with 57% of the population of West Des Moines 25 years and older holding a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Of the population with at least a Bachelor’s degree, 29% have attained a Business degree.
IOWA HIGHWAY 5 CORRIDOR AND ACCESS TO THE DES MOINES AIRPORT
Because Information Technology service operations often prefer suburban locations with close proximity to large client companies, West Des Moines offers a significant market advantage in terms of its position in the metropolitan area. Large parcels of land along this highway are of strategic importance because they can accommodate IT and other high-tech facilities, including data center projects. The corridor is zoned for office, business park, and light industrial uses to accommodate industry growth. In addition, the highway’s connection to the airport is critical in providing industry managers and executives convenient air travel access.
Des Moines Area Community College West
Located in West Des Moines, Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) West Campus is a state-of-the-art campus offering a variety of programs with a focus on technology simulation programming and academic areas in Business Information Systems and Telecommunications Technology. The West Campus has partnered with a number of technology-solution providers who rank among the best in their respective areas of expertise. The campus and center serves as a beta-test site for many of the partners, which enables students to not only get familiar with the latest equipment, but also to help develop applications and solutions in a variety of contexts.
GRAND TECHNOLOGY GATEWAY
West Des Moines envisions a technology corridor along Grand Avenue, one of the City’s major roadways, currently anchored by one of Microsoft’s three area data centers.
DIRECT ACCESS TO A LARGE AND GROWING CUSTOMER BASE
With a significant concentration of health care facilities and large financial service and insurance operations, a market exists for these services. Additionally, a number of major data centers have recently located to Iowa, including the three Microsoft data centers in West Des Moines, equaling a $4 billion investment and reflecting the City’s potential.

LIFE SCIENCES

Health Care and biosciences have witnessed impressive growth nationally, nearly all components of this industry have seen both local and national growth over the past 10 years. For health care in particular, West Des Moines is a major player in the state as the industry continues to grow. West Des Moines’ proximity to research institutions and a skilled workforce makes our location ideal for expansion within this industry.

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ADEQUATE INFRASTRUCTURE AND IOWA-5 CORRIDOR
Adequate infrastructure is one of the most critical requirements for health service firms. A major airport should be nearby for reduced transport time, and telecommunications and energy infrastructure must be adequate – both criteria that West Des Moines currently meets. Although health care services must locate in every major market, affordable office space for medical specialists is usually desired.

The Iowa-5 Corridor runs along the southern end of West Des Moines and connects the city with the airport. The availability of land along this corridor combined with the strength of the West Des Moines office market makes this corridor an excellent site for life science companies that may need flex space or lab configurations that are not currently available in the Metro. The Grand Technology Gateway, which runs along Grand Avenue and Grand Prairie Parkway, is another area in the City being developed with high-tech companies in mind.

GROWING POPULATION
Health service companies are necessary in most communities. However, markets with a rapidly growing population are particularly attractive to health care related businesses seeking an operating location. Economic realities have also forced many hospitals to consider area income levels in their site selection decisions. West Des Moines, with its rapidly growing population and high median income levels make it competitive.
TWO NEW AREA HOSPITALS/CONCENTRATION OF LIFE SCIENCES FACILITIES
Mercy West Lakes Hospital has more than 80 beds and offers medical and surgical care, intensive care, obstetrical and cardiac services, a 24-hour emergency department, and diagnostic and ancillary services. Methodist West Hospital, part of the UnityPoint Health network, is a 95-bed hospital offering a full range of medical care services. Both hospitals opened in 2009.

Within West Des Moines, there is a concentration of various other medical services. These services include The Iowa Clinic, Iowa Heart Center, DMOS Orthopaedic Centers, Wolfe Eye Clinic, Des Moines Eye Surgeons, Iowa Podiatric Medical Society, and Lakeview Surgery Center, among others. Because of the migration of medical services to concentrated urban areas, many of these specialized clinics have a large percentage of their clientele from rural Iowa.

Within 40 miles of West Des Moines is the Iowa State Research Park, as well as the National Animal Disease Lab in Ames, Iowa. The Research Park is an innovation community and incubator for new and expanding businesses, and assists startup Iowa-based companies develop their potential and nurture scientific and technological entrepreneurial ventures. The National Animal Disease Center is a federally funded research facility dedicated to investigating and producing technology related to eliminating infectious, genetic and metabolic diseases that affect livestock and poultry across the United States.

At the University of Iowa, located just 2 hours from West Des Moines, the Carver College of Medicine supports the Office of Research, which provides and coordinates resources for College investigators in both clinical and basic research endeavors. All of these facilities represent the commitment to discovery and innovation.

MANUFACTURING / LOGISTICS

Situated at the corridor of two Interstate Highways (I35 & I80), West Des Moines delivers a competitive transportation network for Manufacturing and Logistics. Companies in this industry enjoy zero property tax on their machinery and equipment and a single factor corporate income tax: meaning companies are only taxed on in-state sales.

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STATE, REGIONAL, AND LOCAL TAX ADVANTAGES
The State of Iowa does not levy property tax on new machinery and equipment for manufacturing, and sales or use tax does not apply to this machinery. There is no sales tax due on electricity and natural gas used directly in the manufacturing process, and there are no sales taxes on goods shipped out of state. In addition, West Des Moines has local property tax rebate programs and has worked successfully with the state to help industrial firms secure state job training programs aimed at the manufacturing sector.
SUPPORTIVE INFRASTRUCTURE & AVAILABLE LAND
West Des Moines has the physical infrastructure to support the advanced logistics and manufacturing industries including a high-quality road network and access to rail and air transportation. The City’s infrastructure and central location open these businesses up to the Greater Des Moines region, the state of Iowa and the nation. The City also boasts abundant, affordable energy and water capacity. Another business attraction asset is the availability of land, including large, undeveloped parcels along the Iowa-5 Corridor and the Grand Technology Gateway.
STRATEGIC LOCATION
West Des Moines’ location within Iowa and the greater Midwest market is an excellent advantage. Iowa’s strategic, central location makes it a natural fit for manufacturing because of the ease and efficiency of which goods can be transported to other markets. From Iowa, freight and rail shipments can reach vital markets like Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Omaha and Kansas City in just a few hours. The City also enjoys a superior location in terms of major roadways; being located at cross-section of I-80, I-35, and I-235 provides ease of mobility and access for businesses that need to ship their final product to other places in the region and beyond.

RETAIL & HOSPITALITY

West Des Moines is knowing as the premier shopping destination in the region and with more than 250 bars and restaurants and 23 hotels and counting, it’s easy to see why. Our well placed infrastructure and attractive retail development lends itself continued growth in this industry with endless possibility.

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DEMOGRAPHICS THAT SUPPORT A GROWING MARKET
A median household income of $60,690 and a rapidly rising population make West Des Moines a perfect location for retail centers. Restaurants and hotels in West Des Moines benefit from the multitude of youth sporting events hosted in the Metro, the concentration of corporate offices, and its association of being a retail and dining destination in the region.
ROBUST INFRASTRUCTURE
The infrastructure needs of hotels and restaurants (highway access, available parking, affordable and accessible utilities) are critical to the performance of these industries, and West Des Moines has been proactive in working closely with developers to provide these services.
SMALL EVENTS SUPPORT A LOCAL DRAW
The Historic Valley Junction commercial center is home to more than 150 shops and restaurants, and preserves the story of the City’s heritage. Throughout the summer, Valley Junction hosts a weekly farmers market, and a number of other cultural and community events throughout the year. Other cultural and recreational events built around Jordan Creek Town Center, Valley West Mall and Raccoon River Park also provide opportunities to draw visitors in from surrounding areas.
CITY SERVES REGION AND NATIONAL MARKET
While the population of West Des Moines is about 64,560, the city’s daytime population is more than 125,000 thanks in no small part to the shoppers, students, and workforce who come into the City to shop, visit friends and family, and conduct business. Jordan Creek Town Center has played a large part in transforming West Des Moines into a retail destination, and other retail centers, both new and existing developments, have added to the success. With 24 million visitors annually, the availability of retail and dining options attracts visitors from across the state as well as surrounding states. Twenty-three hotels have opened locations in West Des Moines to accommodate the traffic generated by retail attractions. West Des Moines has nearly 3,000 hotel rooms within its City limits.