#14 Iowa

8.38 out of 10 in Taxation and Regulation

9.29 out of 10 in Workforce Quality

7.33 out of 10 in Living Environment

Right to Work?

Development In Data Centers

Iowa’s capital Des Moines has one of the fastest-growing employee bases in the Midwest. One of the biggest stories in Iowa is the growth in data centers. Apple is planning a 400,000-square-foot, $1.38 billion data center in nearby Waukee. Facebook recently started a one-million-square-foot expansion at its data center facility in Altoona, and Microsoft is completing its largest data center in the country in West Des Moines.

From the Governor

“Apple’s significant investment and commitment to grow in Iowa is a clear vote of confidence in our state. This announcement further solidifies Iowa as a hub where innovation and technology flourish and world-class companies can thrive.” Gov. Kim Reynolds

Key Industries

Advanced Manufacturing, Bio Science, Financial Service

Key Companies

American Equity Investment
Heartland Express
Meredith Corp.
Winnebago Industries
Cottingham & Butler

Key Contacts

Economic Development Authority

Debi Durham, Director
200 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
[email protected]

Key Incentives

High Quality Jobs Program: Offers loans, tax credits, exemptions and refunds to nonretail or nonservice business to offset costs incurred to locate, expand or modernize a facility.

Research Activities Credit: Offers refundable tax credits for R&D activities and investments.

Renewable Chemicals Production Tax Credit: Offers one of the strongest incentive packages in the industry for companies that produce 30 high-value chemicals derived from biomass feedstocks.

Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund: Offers funds and financing to eligible businesses through two program components that correspond to different stages of growth for investment-grade, high-growth enterprises.


Iowa Economic Development Authority: iowaeconomicdevelopment.com

Professional Developers of Iowa: pdiowa.com

Iowa Area Development Group: iadg.com

Greater Des Moines Partnership: dsmpartnership.com

Highlighted Program or Initiative

Future Ready Iowa Alliance aims to build the state’s pipeline and fosters STEM education with a goal of having 70% of the state workforce with education or training beyond high school by 2025.

Big Deals

  • Microsoft announced in July 2016 further development at its data center facility in West Des Moines, bringing total investment to $78 billion for all three projects.
  • IMT Group announced in November 2016 it would construct a $36 million expansion at its headquarters in West Des Moines.
  • Italian food manufacturer Barilla America announced in March 2017 a $64 million expansion of silo storage and rail capacity at its facility in Ames.
  • Facebook broke ground in May 2017 on an additional one-million-square-foot data center at its campus in The $1.5 billion facility will be its fourth on the site and the largest in the country.
  • Apple announced in August 2017 it will construct a $1.38 billion, 400,000-square-foot data center in Waukee.

Big Companies

Three Fortune 500 companies headquartered in state:
Principal Financial Group
Casey’s General Stores
Rockwell Collins

C-Suite Testimonials

“Across Iowa, businesses, schools, developers and government are coming together to build a new home for innovation in the heartland….At Apple, we admire what you guys have accomplished, and we want to be a part of it.” —Tim Cook, CEO, Apple

“Whether it is a focus on STEM education, K–12, community colleges, four year independent colleges, universities all are working together to continually make Iowa really a leader in education.” —Mary Andringa, Chairman, Vermeer

“The reason [companies] should come to Iowa is the quality of the people. It’s a very Midwest work ethic a desire to work together, to make things more effective and more efficient.” —Stan Askren, Chairman, CEO and President, HNI

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