Cedar Rapids is the 2nd biggest city within Iowa. It is located on both banks of the Cedar River, 32 km or 20 miles north of Iowa City and 100 miles or 160 km east of the state's largest city and capital, Des Moines. Cedar Rapids forms the county seat of Linn County. The Linn County Courthouse and City Hall are both situated on Mays Island in the Cedar River. This makes it among the several cities within the globe that has government offices located on a municipal island.
Cedar Rapids is the centre of the Interstate 380 Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Technology Corridor of Linn, Washington, Johnson, Benton and Jones counties. The city forms the economic hub of the state of Iowa and is a major center for art and culture in Eastern Iowa. The city of Cedar Rapids is home to the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance, the Paramount Theatre, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, Theatre Cedar Rapids and the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.
The city of Cedar Rapids has been nicknamed the "City of Five Seasons," for the 5th season, which is time to enjoy the other traditional four seasons. The city of Cedar Rapids symbolizes this with a Tree of Five Seasons sculpture along the north river bank in downtown. In various forms, the representation of the sculpture and the name "Five Seasons" appear through the city in numerous ways.
The Sac and Fox Tribes inhabited the area surrounding the current Cedar Rapids City, prior to the arrival of Osgood Shepard. He was the first permanent settler, when he arrived during 1838. When the town was first established, Mr. William Stone named the township Columbus. Later on in 1841, it was renamed and resurveyed by N.B. Brown and his associates. The new name of Cedar Rapids was named for the rapids in the Cedar River at the site. The river was named to honor the huge red cedar trees that profusely grew along its banks. On the 15th of January, the year 1849, Cedar Rapids became incorporated.
There are various large businesses that call Cedar Rapids home. For instance, Cargill, GE Commercial Finance, Quaker Oats, General Mills, Allient Energy, Rockwell Collins and Archer Daniels Midland are some of the top businesses. The area's largest employer is Rockwell Collins. The company produces communication technology and aviation electronic technology for airline customers, the government and aircraft manufacturers.
There is a variety of high-tech industries situated in the area's Technology Corridor. This Technology Corridor is one of the main centers in the nation for the defense electronics industry. Moreover, the city of Cedar Rapids has over 275 manufacturing facilities. Food manufacturing and processing as well as agribusiness are essential parts of the economy. Telecommunications and telemarketing also offer lots of jobs in the region. There are local businesses specializing in system planning, equipment manufacturing and electronic manufacturing and design.
There are a variety of research and development facilities in the area. The productive and highly educated labor force combined with a mid-nation location has made the region attractive to new industries and companies. The productivity rate of the workforce is very much higher than the rate of average of the country.