The Quad Cities is blessed with a strong, educated workforce — a critical factor in growing existing businesses and attracting new companies to the region. In Davenport, more than two-thirds of the workforce has attended college and 48 percent have at least an undergraduate degree. Scott Community College and other post-secondary institutions work closely with local employers to provide customized workforce training that can respond quickly to the changing needs of business and industry.
The Quad-City area is a strategic trade and distribution center, with a great transportation network that provides easy access to markets, suppliers and customers in Chicago, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Detroit, St. Louis, Omaha and Kansas City. More than 37 million people live within 300 miles of the Quad Cities. Within a 500-mile radius, there are more than 191,000 manufacturers with 7.2 million employees, more than 250,000 wholesale trade and warehousing operations with 2.98 million employees, and nearly 622,500 retail trade establishments with 6.5 million employees.
Nearly 10,000 businesses and companies call the Quad Cities home, most notably John Deere world headquarters, Lee Enterprises corporate offices and the Rock Island Arsenal, a major U.S. Department of Defense Command Center. The Quad Cities is known for its manufacturing base but also for its strong and growing health care industry that provides world-class care and employs thousands of residents in the bi-state region. While some employees commute to the Quad Cities from surrounding communities, the average drive time to work for local residents is 11 minutes.
Both Iowa and Illinois Quad-City communities offer state and local incentive programs to support primary employers, small businesses and targeted business start-ups. DavenportOne and other chambers of commerce work directly with city leaders and the Quad City Development Group to meet the needs of companies seeking to add jobs, expand or locate here. Industrial parks such as the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center on I-80 in north Davenport are ready sites for targeted industries in logistics, distribution and advanced manufacturing. The NewVentures Center, a regional business accelerator located in Davenport, links area entrepreneurs with capital, markets and resources with an eye toward developing more homegrown enterprises. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) support small business and entrepreneurial efforts as well.
Davenport Iowa: The top ten major employers and the number of full-time employees include:
Rock Island Arsenal – 6,680
Deere & Co. – 6,300
Genesis Health System – 4,900
Trinity Regional Health System – 2,900
Tyson Fresh Meats – 2,400
ALCOA – 2,250
Kraft Foods North America – 1,650
MidAmerican Energy Co. 1,230
APAC Customer Service – 900
Exelon Energy – 700