Moline Economy

Like most towns of Moline’s size, the city is home to a wide range of businesses. However, few cities of 43,000 people can claim that they are the headquarters for a company with a name and logo instantly recognizable all over the world. A few decades ago, a big portion of Moline’s economy was centered on manufacturing farm equipment with household names such as John Deere, International Harvester, Case, Farmall, and countless other smaller companies. As the machine shops began to close in the late 1970s, many people moved out of the area in search of jobs elsewhere and most of the big farm machinery manufacturers moved as well.

However, Deere & Company kept its world headquarters in Moline as well as a significant portion of its manufacturing jobs. Both the white collar and blue collar positions at Deere are critically important for Moline’s economy. Since the 80s, John Deere has diversified its operations far beyond tractors, combines, and other farm machinery. These days, Deere also makes heavy construction equipment, forestry equipment, golf course maintenance vehicles, and a wide range of all-purpose commercial machinery.

Southpark Mall is also a large factor in Moline’s economy and tax base. Featuring over 100 restaurants, department stores, boutiques, specialty shops, and kiosks, Southpark Mall and the retail district developed around it with national retailers and local stores, contributes many jobs and steady tax revenue for Moline’s economy.

Moline’s City Center has become a powerful force in Moline’s economy over the last several years as riverfront land that was once covered by John Deere’s manufacturing plants was turned over to the city in an effort to rejuvenate downtown Moline. The project is still ongoing but with anchors such as John Deere Commons and the i wireless Center to attract visitors from all of the area, smaller, locally-owned business in downtown Moline are able to keep their doors open and add to Moline’s economy.

From its manufacturing roots to shopping to entertainment and tourism, Moline’s economy is quite diverse with many different revenue streams. This diversity is one of the city’s strengths and Moline’s economy seems to be poised for long-term success for the city and its citizens.