It's the kind of place where everybody knows your name.
Sponsored by: Davis County Development Corporation
Devyn Pitlick had been working at Davis County Hospital & Clinics in Bloomfield, Iowa, for all of two days when something unexpected happened. As she passed people in the hallway at her new job, most of them said hello and called her by her first name.
“I came from a large city, and I could walk down the hall at work and not know anybody,” Pitlick says. “But here, you can actually connect with people. You’re not a stranger.”
Indeed, workers in Davis County can count on being much more than just a small number in a big company. Many of the businesses in the area are locally owned and operated, with decision-makers who live in the same community as the employees.
Local control results in local recognition and respect.
“We’re not high-pressure, big-city businesses,” says Mark Davenport, who has owned the metal fabrication company Davencorp for nearly 20 years. “We’re just generally good, hard-working people who want to get the job done while treating our employees right.”
That formula certainly has worked for the manufacturing company Metal Wholesale, which began in 2015 with three employees and has since expanded to a staff of more than 60.
“People here are able to build careers, not just have jobs,” Metal Wholesale General Manager Darin Westoff says. “It’s the kind of positions that can be offered to young people right off the bat. This is a great place to grow a career.”
Davis County, which has one of the lowest costs of living in the nation, is also a great place to be when you’re away from work as well. A place where children walk to school and people wave at you as you drive through town. A place filled with woods and lakes and outdoor activities, but one that also offers easy internet access so essential to young professionals. In fact, Davis County has the fastest internet service currently available.
“Davis County provides the perfect blend of physical and digital amenities that translate into opportunities for career-minded individuals who appreciate what rural America has to offer,” says Greg Proctor, general manager at Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative. “There are exceptional schools and recreational facilities that accommodate almost any interest, while providing the perfect environment to raise families.”
That environment includes a thriving arts scene filled with concerts, theatrical productions, movie nights and children’s plays. For outdoor enthusiasts, fishing, camping, boating and more can be enjoyed at 1,150-acre Lake Wapello State Park, the 290-acre McGowen Recreation and Wildlife Area and 100-acre Lake Fisher. And there are numerous festivals and other events held throughout the year, including many that are organized by the area’s thriving Amish community.
“When I moved here seven years ago, I didn’t know what to expect, but I absolutely love it,” Pitlick says. “This place is a hidden gem. You don’t know what you’re missing until you’ve experienced it.”