November 9, 2010 – George Ciccone is no stranger to leading economic development efforts. Since last year, Ciccone worked in Worcester’s economic development office as downtown development director and as a senior project manager for the city.
Before that, Ciccone served in similar roles in Attleboro and Chelsea. But he was recently named executive director of the Marlborough Economic Development Corp., a quasi-public agency.
“It’s an exciting opportunity here in Marlborough. There’s a very broad based local economy with some major employers, particularly in strong growth sectors,” he said. Ciccone first day at MEDC was Nov. 1.
Ready To Go
Arthur Bergeron, chairman of the MEDC board and lawyer at the Worcester law firm Mirick O’Connell, said the organization received more than a dozen applicants for the position and a handful of finalists were selected. The board selected Ciccone because of his experience in both large and small economic development settings and for his ability to “hit the ground running,” according to Bergeron.
While it may seem like the MEDC is just another one of a number of economic development groups in the region, Ciccone the MEDC has its own niche as the official economic development arm for the city. The group is funded by municipal allocations and business donations. Other groups in the region – like the 495/MetroWest Partnership – have larger, more regional focuses.
“We just need to figure out where we’re going and what the plan is of how to get there,” he said.
To that end, Ciccone and the MEDC board plan to develop a comprehensive master plan with the help of professional planners. The last one was done about 25 years ago, but a new plan will be a roadmap of what policies should be prioritized. It will explore zoning regulations, infrastructure capacities and community needs, according to Ciccone.
Beyond the master plan, Bergeron said he hopes Ciccone will work on “targeted projects” in the city, such as the redevelopment of a vacant Main Street lot which is the remains from a fire from earlier this year.
Hiring may not be done for the MEDC either. The board hopes to add a downtown projects coordinator to the organization as well, with the goal of encouraging residents to stay in Marlborough and use downtown businesses. This is specifically targeted for out-of-town visitors who may come to the area for a competition or show at the Marlborough Sports Center complex, which will soon have six skating rinks for hockey and ice skating. Bergeron said there’s an opportunity to work with the complex to engage those visitors with Marlborough businesses.
This story originally appeared here