Why choose Des Moines?
The five-county metropolitan area is ranked 88th in terms of population inthe United States with 580,255 residents according to the 2011 estimate by the United States Census Bureau. The suburbs include Altoona, Ankeny, Bondurant, Carlisle, Clive, Grimes, Johnston, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill, Urbandale, Waukee, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights.
Des Moines is a major center for the insurance industry and also has a sizable financial services and publishing business base. Des Moines was credited with the "number one spot for U.S. insurance companies" in a Business Wire article and dubbed the third largest insurance capital of the world.
Principal Financial Group, Aviva insurance, the Mereditch Corporation, Ruan Transportation, EMC Insurance Companies, and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield call Des Moines their headquarters. Other major corporations such as Wells Fargo, ING Group, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Marsh, Monsanto and Pioneer Hi-Bred have large operations in or near the metro area. Forbes magazine ranked Des Moines as the "Best Place for Business' in 2010 and, in 2011, ranked the city #1 among "America's Best Cities for Young Professionals."
Des Moines is an important city in the US presidential politics as the capital of Iowa, which is home ot the Iowa caucuses. The caucuses have been the first major electoral even in nominating the President of the United States since 1972. Hence, many presidential candidates set up campaign headquarters in Des Moines. A 2007 article in The New York Times stated 'if you have any desire to witness presidential candidates in the most close-up and intimate of settings, there is arguably no better place to go than Des Moines."
The 132nd Fighter Wing is also located in Des Moines, the base is located next to the Des Moines International Airport. In 1941, the wing was established with the 124th Observation Squardron. At the time, the unit had 110 men, 27 officers (15 pilots), and 5 aircraft. Over the past 68 years, the 132nd Fighter Wing has participated in many actions including WWII, the Korean Conflict, and many of the support functions of Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. For over six decades, the 132nd Fighter Wing has demonstrated its dedication to the excellence and professionalism. The unit has received numerous awards, including eight Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards, and has participated in exercises and deployments worldwide.
The 132nd also played a key role in recovery efforts during the 1993 and 2008 floodings in the Des Moines area. With over 900 enlisted personnel and 100 officers, the 132nd Fighter Wing is ready to meet the challenges of a changing world, well into the century. (http://www.132fw.ang.af.mil/history/index.asp)
The Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) is the largest public school district in Iowa. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges and the Iowa Department of Education. The DMPS has 5 high schools: East, Hoover, Lincoln, North and Roosevelt. It also has an alternative high scohol program, Scavo Campus. Central Academy is a public magnet school located in downtown Des Moines nationally recognized for its academic achievements. To learn more about Des Moines Public Schools please visit their website.