Ottumwa Economic Development Corp.
The Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) is a 43 year old economic development, non-profit private organization responsible for Ottumwa, Iowa and Wapello County. OEDC specializes in maintaining information on existing buildings, land sites and demographic information about the city, county and state of Iowa.
Ottumwa (a-tum-wa), Iowa is a city of 25,000 in a county of 35,000 serving a 10-county regional population of 140,000. The economy is driven by industrial agriculture (corn, soybeans, livestock) and manufacturing where 24 of the labor force is engaged. The largest manufacturing firms include Cargill Meat Solutions with 2,200 employees with a starting wage is $10 per hour John Deere Ottumwa Works (950 employees) where the starting wage is $14 per hour and Cargill Eddyville, which is a large corn processing complex, with 600 employees (includes contractors) with an average starting wage of $14 per hour. The average regional wage in $12.19 per hour and the average wage in Ottumwa is $13.98 per hour. The community needs a source of second-income jobs.
The cost of living in Ottumwa is approximately 10 lower than the US average. Unlike some communities, Ottumwa's cost of living reflects the wage rates of the area and has not outstripped the ability of the citizens to maintain their life styles. The average home sale price in Ottumwa in 2005 was $81,819. This is a good community for young couples with families and looking for their first starter home.
Ottumwa is located on four-lane divided US Highway 63 with 90 minute access to Des Moines, Iowa. Interstate 80 is 53 miles north and Interstate 35 is 70 miles west. The main east-west line of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad comes through Ottumwa and land sites on the rail line are available. The Iowa, Chicago & Eastern railroad's main line between Kansas City and Chicago comes through Ottumwa as well and land sites are also avaiable on that line. Ottumwa has a general aviation airport with full instrumentation and its runways are long enough to support the largest corporate aircraft. Commercial passenger air service is 90 minutes north at the Des Moines International Airport. The Ottumwa Regional Aiport is also the location of the largest industrial park in the city where land sites range from 10 acres up to 250 acre parcels. Land prices range from $4,000 to $7,100 an acre.
Iowa has an exceptional business climate that includes a SINGLE FACTOR corporate income tax formula that is based upon sales within the state only. The Iowa Job Training Program (260E Training) is administered in Ottumwa by the 5,000 full-time student Indian Hills Community College and is a frequently used incentive. Options on land prices are also available.
Quality of life is judged in the eyes of the beholder. However, many would agree Ottumwa is an ideal community to raise a family in and is uncommonly afordable and comfortable. The school system is not overcrowed at 4,600 students and do well in testing. Indian Hills Community College is an uncommonly quality educational institution established as one of 15 community colleges in the state. Indian Hills specializes in high technology training programs befitting the agriculture, processing and manufacturing environment in Ottumwa. The industrial categories include food processing as typified by Cargill's Eddyville complex where they process corn into sweeteners and produce ethanol, vitamin E and other chemically derived products from corn. John Deere's Ottumwa Works is the world headquarters for the hay and forage harvesting equipment division and features the manufacturing of the same. Al-Jon manufacturing makes the world's largest landfill trash compaction tractor as well as high specialize metal recycling equipment. WINBCO Tank Company, also headquartered in Ottumwa, manufactures and erects the food industry standard in stainless steel tankage.
OEDC recently commissioned work by a site selection consultant to measure the attributes of Ottumwa against general site selection criteria of five industry types. The work verified Ottumwa fits the criteria of the following industry types: Food Processing Advanced Manufacturing Call Centers Plastics and/or Printing and Distribution/Logistics. Ottumwa was evaluated on labor, wages & fringes, labor/management relations, skilled labor availability, vocational training, electical power costs, electric dependability, transporation, property taxes, machinery & equipment taxes, site availability, site costs, market orientation, education system, housing costs and incentives.