Get to Know: West Des Moines

West Des Moines Intro: Employment opportunities abound in the city of West Des Moines, where major employers and headquartered companies include major employers Hy-Vee, Kum & Go, FBL Financial Group, Wells Fargo, Athene and Collins Aerospace. Career opportunities for young professionals, students and employees support professional advancement in West Des Moines, whether through internships, owning a business or joining corporate America. Walnut Woods State Park provides recreational entertainment for the area, and shopping destinations like Jordan Creek Town Center, West Glen Town Center and Historic Valley Junction encourage exploration, as does the Jamie Hurd Amphitheater, Raccoon River Park Boathouse and Athene Pedestrian Bridge. The Marathon Loop and Raccoon River Greenway round out the signature projects that continue to be developed in West Des Moines. Two hospitals (UnityPoint Health - Methodist West and MercyOne West Des Moines) provide access to healthcare, as do numerous clinics and specialist offices.  

Jordan Creek Town Center

West Des Moines at a Glance

  • Population: 69,792 (2021, US Census Bureau) 
  • Location within Greater Des Moines: West 
  • Distance from Des Moines: 9.7 miles 
  • Type of Community: Suburb 
  • School District: West Des Moines Community School District
  • Counties: Polk, Dallas, Warren and Madison 

West Des Moines in one sentence: West Des Moines is positioned to be the best city in America to live, work and play with an abundance of recreational, entertainment, retail, dining, healthcare and career opportunities. 

The top five best things about West Des Moines: Five top things about West Des Moines are the Raccoon River Park and abundant outdoor recreational options, the dining, retail and entertainment opportunities, the top-rated educational system, that it’s one of the least expensive and safest communities in the U.S. and that the city is diverse and welcoming — 79 languages are spoken within West Des Moines schools. 

Hidden Gems and Unexpected Finds in West Des Moines: There are too many to mention but there is something for EVERYONE! 

Community Traditions and Annual Events: The Raccoon River Rally Fall Festival, Illumifest, Taste of the Junction, Valley Junction Farmers’ Market, Jingle in the Junction, WDM Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, City of WDM Juneteenth Celebration and many others offer a robust calendar of opportunities to celebrate, learn and connect with the community. 

image of a town square

Best Ways to Get Connected: The award-winning West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce includes the largest young professionals group in the state called West YP. There are opportunities with YURtern for summer interns. The Chamber hosts 150 events and gatherings and supports a DEI Committee, an Explore WDM Committee and 15 more groups that people can be involved with. Opportunities with the West Des Moines Rotary and Historic Valley Junction Foundation mean there are groups for all ages.  

Get to Know Community Leaders: There are so many people who make West Des Moines great. Subscribe to the Chamber newsletter to get plugged and find out more ways to connect with the Chamber and read the Chamber’s new 515 West Magazine on the Chamber’s website. 

Big Things on the Horizon for West Des Moines: The stunning new Athene Pedestrian Bridge will tie some of West Des Moines' major wooded areas and parks together. And in the future, expect to see one of the largest water parks outside of the Wisconsin Dells, a new convention center and many new “eatertainment” and brewery options near the MidAmerican Energy RecPlex and Des Moines University. Plus, the historic Val Air Ballroom is getting a major renovation that will draw people from all over the Midwest to enjoy top-notch entertainment and concerts. Also watch out for new opportunities to have fun coming to West Des Moines including Top Golf, Suite Shots, Ruth Chris Steakhouse and much more. 

If you’re coming to check out the community, be sure to spend your day ... shopping at Jordan Creek Town Center, visiting the Valley Junction Historic District, seeing MidAmerican Energy RecPlex, visiting The Jordan House and Bennett School House, enjoying Raccoon River Park, checking out West Des Moines Public Library, attending a concert at Jamie Hurd Amphitheater, biking the trails or walking through Walnut Woods State Park or visiting the Des Moines Children’s Museum. 

Some of the ways West Des Moines advances diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI): The West Des Moines Chamber and City of West Des Moines are leading the efforts to help advance DEI throughout the city and state. From the Athene Black & Brown Business Summit, the DEI Workplace Excellence Awards, Latino Trade Network, Mentoring for Women, Tina Talks, WDM Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, City of West Des Moines Juneteenth Celebration, West Des Moines Chamber DEI Committee, City of West Des Moines DEI Committee, DiverCITY Newsletter and more, West Des Moines is paving the way to advance DEI and helping to create a welcoming community.

image a map showing the Greater Des Moines regions