Major Industries in Altoona Iowa: What’s Causing the Growth?

major business growth

In recent years, the economy of Altoona, Iowa has grown substantially as major businesses have broken ground, pursing economic development and business opportunity. When examining the Altoona economy, understanding the business climate and inherent advantages of the region is influential for people looking to move to Altoona or businesses searching for unique economic opportunity.

Business Climate in Altoona, Iowa

Over 9,400 individuals work in Altoona. The largest industries include Health Care & Social Assistance (employing 1,298 people), Finance & Insurance (employing 1,237 people), and Retail Trade (employing 1,060 people). The highest paying industries in Altoona, IA are Transportation & Warehousing, Public Administration, and Utilities. Each major industry features a plethora of well-known companies.

The top employers in Altoona region (greater Des Moines metro) include:

  • Wells Fargo & Co (14,500 employees)
  • Hy-Vee Food Corp. (7,500 employees)
  • Mercy Medical Center (7,055 employees)
  • UnityPoint Health – Des Moines (6,435 employees)
  • Principal Financial Group (6,184 employees)
  • Nationwide (4,282 employees)
  • John Deere Companies (3,089 employees)
  • DuPont Pioneer (3,000 employees)
  • JBS USA, LLC (2,300 employees)
  • Pella Corp. (2,224 employees)
  • Vermeer Manufacturing Company (1,900 employees)
  • Kum & Go (1,820 employees)
  • UPS (1,600 employees)
  • Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (1,600 employees)
  • Wellmark, Inc. (1,552 employees)

It is no secret that Altoona, IA, its businesses and residents are thriving in the presence of major industries. What is causing this economic growth in Altoona? We explore a few primary reasons below.

Primary Reason for Growth in Altoona


Altoona is located at the crossroads of America, just off I-80 & I-35. Only a 10-minute drive time to downtown Des Moines, Altoona is located in one of the fastest-growing metros in the Midwest. Also, easily accessible from Altoona is an international airport and rail system.

Leaders that Listen

The City of Altoona’s leadership is committed to growth. They find creative solutions that foster development for businesses and for the greater community. Altoona’s leaders are accessible and willing to listen at every level.

Strong Infrastructure

Altoona boasts powerful, progressive infrastructure. Strategic and readily available, the system includes high-powered transmission lines and access to an extensive water supply. Businesses will stay running with fiber optics, access to power and renewable energy sources.

Entertainment Destination

Altoona draws people from around the country to entertainment attractions including Adventureland Amusement Park, Prairie Meadows Racetrack, Casino & Hotel, Bass Pro Shops, and the Outlets of Des Moines. Altoona attracts more than 3 million visitors a year to these locations.

AltoonaNow: Iowa’s Rising Star

AltoonaNow is the economic development initiative of the City of Altoona. We are AltoonaNow. Together with businesses poised to grow and thrive, we are taking the future by storm. To learn more about developing a thriving business in the heart of Altoona, IA, contact us today!