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Innovation Takes Root in Muscatine, Iowa

By Livability on December 15, 2021

bridge in Iowa
Iowa / Courtesy of Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry

What makes Muscatine, Iowa, the Pearl of the Mississippi? 

Quite simply, its location along the Mississippi River has been the source of inspiration and innovation for hundreds of years. From the time the lumber industry boomed until it was hailed as the “Pearl Button Capital of the World,” Muscatine is known as the place where homegrown and globally known companies make their mark. Throughout all its many phases of growth, it is still a place that makes you feel like you have discovered something special when you arrive. 

One of the many hidden treasures of Muscatine is that this community, population 23,797, has all the small-town charms that you would expect for a place of its size while offering vast opportunities. Generations of citizens living out the American spirit position Muscatine as an attractive place for families to call home. 

“Our famous 7-minute commute to anywhere in town lets you focus on more important things — the things that matter to you,” says Erik Reader, President & CEO of the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry. “Housing is a top priority. Our goal is to expand and improve quality workforce housing across all levels of income.” 

Household names like Heinz, Bayer and Bridgestone complement the likes of HNI Corporation (you might be sitting in a HON office chair as you are reading this), KENT Corporation, Stanley Consultants, Carver Pump and Musco Lighting, providing rewarding careers for residents and students alike. 

As one of the largest employers in Muscatine, KENT Corporation cares about the community and has generously given back in the city it has called home for generations. A recent two-time US Best Managed Company (program sponsored by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal), KENT was recently named a Des Moines Register Iowa Top Workplace based on employee feedback. 

“We enjoy showcasing our Muscatine roots to highlight the shared values on which our organization and community were founded: innovation, quality, entrepreneurialism, sustainability and, most importantly, family,” says Carol Reynolds, KENT corporate spokesperson. 

A brand-new, state-of-the-art STEM wing at Muscatine High School brings together the work of mathematics, engineering, technology and science into a meaningful whole. In addition, students have access to a variety of certification programs available in collaboration with Muscatine Community College that supports cultivating a talented, future-ready workforce. 

Whether or not you need to tap into a talented regional labor force of nearly 383,000 people, or plug into high-speed technology capabilities, a recently completed fiber-to-home project by locally owned municipal utility company Muscatine Power & Water has transformed Muscatine into a Gig City. 

Need to power down and relax? A 15-mile trail system lets you walk, run or bike your way to restore your connection to the outdoors. Or, if retail therapy is your fix, a picturesque historic downtown business district allows you to dine, shop and play the day away. 

Are you ready to make it Muscatine? We welcome you to uncover your own unexpected pearl. For more information, please visit www.muscatine.com or contact the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry at 563-263-8895. 

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