In an encore episode, Steve D'Agostino interviews Craig Blais of the Worcester Business Development Corp. They talk about leveraging Worcester's abundant assets to create significant amounts of new wealth and jobs.
On April 2, Craig Blais, who had been executive vice president of the WBDC, began serving as president and CEO of the WBDC. He replaced David Forsberg, who had retired after serving in the positions since 1999. Craig is responsible for overseeing the $10-million, non-profit corporation.
Craig’s career began in 1986 at the State House, as chief of staff for the House of Representatives. He reported to the chairman of the Joint Committee on Human Services & Elderly Affairs. He also served as district staff coordinator in charge of constituent services.
In 1992, Craig became the assistant town manager in Arlington, where his responsibilities included the preparation of a $60-million municipal budget. He also oversaw the management of a 23-town solid-waste-disposal operation, implemented a total-quality-management program, and served as the town's representative on the MBTA and MWRA advisory boards.
Craig was elected to three consecutive terms as a member of the Auburn Board of Selectmen, serving as the chair from 1994 to 1996. During his time on the Board, he advocated and won the approval of a $50-million regional-mall expansion, the acquisition of more than 100 acres of open space, the development of a 20-acre industrial park, and implemented an innovative fire-service staffing program with Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Craig also served in various economic-development positions with the City of Worcester, including director of Economic Development. In all of these roles, he oversaw a $1-billion economic-development agenda that included the construction of a $250-million health-care facility, a new convention-center construction project, and various major infrastructure-enhancement projects throughout the city.