Tourism is more than places to visit. It is economic growth, quality of life, and revenue generation. According to US Travel Association, tourism generates nearly $9 billion in revenue in Iowa, more than 70,000 jobs, and impacts all 99 counties. Travelers in Iowa spend an estimated $24.6 million a day. In Mahaska County the economic impact range is between $15 and $25 million.
The following is a short list of agencies who provide assistance in the Mahaska Community. Keep scrolling for food, housing, financial legal, and other needs. United Way of Mahaska County has a more comprehensive resource directory.
- Ecumenical Cupboard
205 South D Street
Open M-W-F 10 a.m. to 12 noon
- End of Month Meals
Dinner served at rotating churches
- SNAP (Food Stamps)
410 South 11th
- Love INC
Financial support and education
500 High Ave. West
- Salvation Army
- Iowa FIP
Cash assistance to needy families
410 South 11th
- Homeless Coalition
Emergency Shelter and rental assistance
- General Relief
301 1st Ave. East, Oskaloosa
- Section 8
Income-based rental vouchers
220 South Market, Oskaloosa
- Iowa Legal Aid
Free legal advice on civil matters
112 East 3rd Street, Ottumwa
- Crisis Intervention Services
Support for sexual assault and domestic abuse victims
500 High Ave. West, Oskaloosa
114 North Market, Oskaloosa
- Hew Hope Community
Thrift store and new parent support
308 5th Ave. West, Oskaloosa
- Oskaloosa Rides
Fixed-route bus service
When you begin at the corner of US 63 and IA 92 and circle the city of Oskaloosa, amazing facts and figures begin to take shape due to investments, past and present community partnerships, and the strong commitment to the area’s economy and quality of life.
- State of the City: Oskaloosa Mayor David Krutzfeldt and City Manager Michael Schrock released “Oskaloosa Today” at the first public political forum in 2018. The document shows growth by the numbers, gives project updates, and projected 2018-19 plans. The document can be found here.
- William Penn University is a strong industry partner having a $52+ million economic impact in the community. WPU Stats: Average scholarship is $14,000, students come from 41 states and 18 countries, there is a 16:1 student:teacher ratio, enrollment is 950+ at the Oskaloosa Campus and 700+ enrollment in their College for Working Adults, there is the $12 million PAC/Musco Technology Center on campus, new dorms are at capacity, and popular programs include Nursing BSN and Digital Communications.
- High School / Middle School / Auditorium: 1:1 computer to student ratios at the high school and middle school, Academy and AP Courses offered as well as a wide range of non-athletic extra curricular activities (strings, jazz, robotics), successful anti-bullying and senior mock accident programs through emergency personal partnerships (the oldest program in Iowa boasting over 20 years). The Daily Community Theater hosts professional and community productions and offers children’s theater and camps.
- Elementary School: Thanks to a successful passage of city-wide/county-wide local option sales tax, five aging elementary schools were repurposed and a new elementary school with a central campus was constructed. Read more about how this historical tax vote passage benefitted the entire Mahaska Community by clicking here. Learn about Oskaloosa School system here.
- YMCA: The Mahaska County YMCA is a significant partner in providing recreation, community programming, and child care for the Mahaska Community. The Y leads the largest preschool partnership in the area (Iowa Quality Preschool Program Standard accredited, use of Creative Curriculum). Plans are being finalized between the Y, Oskaloosa School System and the City towards the construction of a recreation and early childhood education center.
- Housing: The Mahaska Community Development Group and Oskaloosa is growing quality housing stock to meet demands. Examples include Fox Run and Marge Housing Divisions and there is a focus on developing new housing especially for workforce and executives. There is a new 48-unit affordable housing development Reserves at Ironwood. The City approved a 2015 Housing Plan and Housing Needs Assessment in 2017.
- Mahaska Health Partnership (MHP): Within the last seven years, MHP invested $25m in a 52,000 sq. ft. expansion that houses acute care, surgical suites and a birthing center. MHP has over 40 physicians on staff. Serenity House, six bed hospice care, was built in 2010. Visit MHP and Serenity House on line.
- Industry: Oskaloosa is the second largest manufacturing community in Iowa per capita. The Mahaska Community exports to over 70 countries, boasts locally owned industries, headquarter companies are strong on research and development and we we are a patent leader. William Penn University is a partner with industries in several efforts.
- Downtown Reinvestment: Musco/MCG is a strong community partner with 400+ team members. They provide technical assistance to Main Street and the Oskaloosa Downtown Development Group (ODD). MCG provides Gigabit service to the community and fiber optic communications and television. Reinvestment in downtown Oskaloosa by all partners includes Smokey Row, Frankel Building, Book Vault, Brown’s Shoe Fit, Trolley Place, Iowa Building, Alan Adams, Town Square Dentist (succession) Law Office, Edward Jones, McMain’s building, Law Enforcement Center (sales tax) courthouse, bandstand, McMillen Building, True Value, Interiors by Val, Clean & Green and $25m street-scaping.
- Recreation: Mahaska Community Recreation Foundation (MCRF) facilitates and promotes recreation in the Mahaska Community. There are several golf course choices: Edmundson, Harvest Point, Oskaloosa Golf, or Prairie Knolls, mini-putt and driving ranges, 15-mile recreation trail that loops the city (a large volunteer effort). The Lacey Complex (200 acres of fields, 5-plex ball diamonds, stadium, outdoor track) saw 64,000 players and 75,000 spectators in the 2017 season. The grounds will be the future home of Recreation and Easy Education Center.
- Intermodal Transportation: A northwest bypass is being planned which will have a positive affect on downtown by receding the track traffic. A regional airport is moving forward and a planned southeast connector will serve the industrial park area. A regional coalition exists as an advocate for the area’s transportation infrastructure.
Recreational opportunities abound within the Mahaska Community. A sister site, everythingMAHASKA, has been developed to provide more in-depth information surrounding recreation and entertainment opportunities throughout Mahaska County. everythingMAHASKA includes the Ultimate Community Calendar which is easily searchable, has a subscription option, and allows for front-end submission so area entities can place their events directly on the calendar.
The following links proved to the most search items prior to the redesign and are provided as a courtesy to our site visitors.
Labor Force statistics are only available county-wide through Iowa Workforce Development.
Jan 2020 (Dec 2019)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (2.6%)
Labor Force: 12,000 (12,100)
Unemployed: 380 (310)
Employed: 11,620 (11,790)
United States – Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (3.4%)
Iowa – Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (2.9%)
Not seasonally adjusted
- 2016 Mahaska County Laborshed Survey & Analysis
- 2013 Mahaska County Laborshed Survey Analysis
- U.S. Department of Labor has several tools for job seekers and employers.
- Earn & Learn: Encourages Iowa job seekers and employers to explore registered apprenticeship opportunities.
- Iowa Workforce Development Office: Iowa Workforce Development contributes to the economic security of Iowa’s workers, businesses and communities through a comprehensive statewide system of employment services, education and regulation of health, safety and employment laws. On-line filing and search services are available.
- Indeed.com: Job seekers can post resumes, conduct area specific job searches; employers can post and manage vacancies
- The Job Network: An on-line searchable tool where posted employment opportunities can be searched by demographics and job types.
- NationJob Network: NationJob is a community based, Internet recruitment solution, job board, and email service. Jobs are posted by state and are searchable by communities within a given state.
- Mahaska County posts available employment opportunities on their official web site.
- Oskaloosa Area Chamber & Development Group: The OACDG is not a civic club, charitable organization, or department of the city government; but a nonprofit, tax-paying organization which works for the community.
- Oskaloosa, Iowa: The City of Oskaloosa posts available employment opportunities on their official web site.
“A Kids-Eye View”
In 1993, money from George Daily’s sizable estate was put into the George Daily Family Trust Fund to benefit the Mahaska Community. To provide a unique learning experience for Oskaloosa’s youth and to help publicize the many community projects funded by the trust, “Kid’s Eye View” booklets were developed for a number of years which provided a historical record of where money was spent and gave students exposure to a variety of reporting experiences and concepts of community leadership. Each project began with groups of students gathering information through personal interviews. Students then took the stories, wrote about the projects, the anticipated community benefits, and drew illustrations to accompany their stories.
You are invited to view each of the “Kid’s Eye View” publications linked below (may take a moment to load). A new window will open for on-line flip viewing.
The ultimate community calendar for the Mahaska Community as well as amenities and activities from Oskaloosa and Mahaska County is found on line at Team Mahaska’s sister site:
everythingMAHASKA.org. The calendar is searchable by category and key words. Items can be easily posted* directly from the calendar page without registration requirements. This helps assure every event and activity can be found at this one location. A subscribe function has also been developed so events can be delivered directly to your email address.
*Calendar items posted from the front end are subject to publication approval.
Visit everything MAHASKA for complete details.