question about Des Moines
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    question about Des Moines

    I lived in Des Moines for all my life until recently. It always had that white collar vibe to me. My mom is 60 and is from the area and she always said that when she was growing up it was a blue collar industrial city.

    For all you older people on here that are from the area, would you say that it was blue collar until about the late 80s?



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    Re: question about Des Moines

    I'd say the city of Des Moines is very blue collar, its the suburbs that are white collar. Lots of manufacturing inside the city. Not as much as in the past.


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    Re: question about Des Moines

    Quote Originally Posted by ripvdub View Post
    I'd say the city of Des Moines is very blue collar, its the suburbs that are white collar. Lots of manufacturing inside the city. Not as much as in the past.
    There used to be, maybe before the 80's, some manufacturing in Des Moines. A lot of that is gone. Downtown is all insurance, banking and financial, as you well know. I can remember when south of downtown had warehousing and manufacturing (Pittsburg-Des Moines Steel comes to mind) but that area is mostly converted to offices and housing, the ball park, science center, etc.



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    Re: question about Des Moines

    Certainly not as blue collar as it used to be. I've been applying for warehouse work for the last 3 years, just to help my wife with bills while I try to finish school, and it's like I'm applying at the pentagon or something. Nobody wants to hire someone with a strong work ethic that will show up everyday, unless you have experience(which I do) or a degree. Just my opinion.



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    Re: question about Des Moines

    Quote Originally Posted by RhoadsRage View Post
    Certainly not as blue collar as it used to be. I've been applying for warehouse work for the last 3 years, just to help my wife with bills while I try to finish school, and it's like I'm applying at the pentagon or something. Nobody wants to hire someone with a strong work ethic that will show up everyday, unless you have experience(which I do) or a degree. Just my opinion.
    I decided to look up some numbers and in 1996, I could only find two manufacturers amongst the top 27 employers in Des Moines. Those were Firestone and Deere for a total of 2,800 jobs. In contrast the top three employers, Principal, the State and Iowa Health employed 21,000.
    City of Des Moines - Office of Economic Development



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    Re: question about Des Moines

    Quote Originally Posted by aauummm View Post
    Downtown is all insurance, banking and financial, as you well know.
    There was a term in Des Moines in the early to mid 90s when I was growing up. The term was "Wells Fargo gypsies". It was a term a lot of people from my parents generation used who were natives of the area to describe people who would come and go from DSM as employees of Wells Fargo, almost like gypsies.



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    Re: question about Des Moines

    Quote Originally Posted by AntiSnob View Post
    There was a term in Des Moines in the early to mid 90s when I was growing up. The term was "Wells Fargo gypsies". It was a term a lot of people from my parents generation used who were natives of the area to describe people who would come and go from DSM as employees of Wells Fargo, almost like gypsies.
    That's interesting because I didn't think Wells Fargo was even in Des Moines (and West Des Moines) until 3-4 years ago. However, time goes faster than one thinks so maybe they moved in earlier than that. I'll do some digging on that one!


    Last edited by aauummm; 03-06-2010 at 12:49 AM.

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    Re: question about Des Moines

    Quote Originally Posted by aauummm View Post
    I decided to look up some numbers and in 1996, I could only find two manufacturers amongst the top 27 employers in Des Moines. Those were Firestone and Deere for a total of 2,800 jobs. In contrast the top three employers, Principal, the State and Iowa Health employed 21,000.
    City of Des Moines - Office of Economic Development
    Not surprising......I've also tried to get entry level mailroom type jobs with most of the insurance companies, also to no avail.



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    Re: question about Des Moines

    Quote Originally Posted by RhoadsRage View Post
    Not surprising......I've also tried to get entry level mailroom type jobs with most of the insurance companies, also to no avail.
    Jeez, that sounds weird! You didn't tell them about your felony convictions did you? (just joking!)



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    Re: question about Des Moines

    Quote Originally Posted by aauummm View Post
    Jeez, that sounds weird! You didn't tell them about your felony convictions did you? (just joking!)
    Not all of them!!



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    Re: question about Des Moines

    I have basically lived here my entire life (I'm 35) and it has always been a white collar town to me. Seems like the town is dominated by WF now...but before the mid 90's it was almost all insurance. In fact we were the #3 insurance city in the world behind London and Hartford for decades.



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    Re: question about Des Moines

    Quote Originally Posted by 1TRUFAN View Post
    I have basically lived here my entire life (I'm 35) and it has always been a white collar town to me. Seems like the town is dominated by WF now...but before the mid 90's it was almost all insurance. In fact we were the #3 insurance city in the world behind London and Hartford for decades.
    I believe the claim on the battle of the "Insurance Capital of the World" between Hartford and Des Moines was largely proved to be a fallacy about a decade ago when research showed that New York City had significantly more insurance companies than Hartford and Des Moines COMBINED...


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    Re: question about Des Moines

    Quote Originally Posted by RhoadsRage View Post
    Not surprising......I've also tried to get entry level mailroom type jobs with most of the insurance companies, also to no avail.
    Is your degree really electrical engineering? Maybe they think your overqualified for entry level jobs in the mail room.



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    Re: question about Des Moines

    Quote Originally Posted by AntiSnob View Post
    There was a term in Des Moines in the early to mid 90s when I was growing up. The term was "Wells Fargo gypsies". It was a term a lot of people from my parents generation used who were natives of the area to describe people who would come and go from DSM as employees of Wells Fargo, almost like gypsies.
    Norwest bought Wells Fargo (but kept the WF name) in 1998. There may have Norwest Gypsies, but not WF gypsies at that time.



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    Re: question about Des Moines

    Quote Originally Posted by aauummm View Post
    I decided to look up some numbers and in 1996, I could only find two manufacturers amongst the top 27 employers in Des Moines. Those were Firestone and Deere for a total of 2,800 jobs. In contrast the top three employers, Principal, the State and Iowa Health employed 21,000.
    City of Des Moines - Office of Economic Development
    I think Wells Fargo will have over 10,000 employees in Central Iowa in the next few years. West Des Moines "won" the right to pay for so much of the cost of building the corporate campus across from Jordan Creek Mall, there will be over two thousand employees just in that space.



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