The Department of Economic Development director under Governor Tom Vilsack, is not staying on in the new administration. Michael Blouin is taking a job with the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation.
Blouin ran against Governor-elect Chet Culver in the Democratic primary and lost. Blouin has served as the leader of chambers of commerce in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, but says Dubuque is where he has roots.
Blouin says he came to Dubuque is his home in Iowa as he went there to attend Loras College as a 16-year-old freshman in 1962 and never left. He says Dubuque is where he met and married his wife and where his daughters were born. Blouin also represented the area in the state legislature and later as a U.S. Congressman.
Blouin says he has a goal in returning to the eastern Iowa town."To help in the planning and execution of a plan that will bring more jobs and more people to the area," Blouin says, "quality jobs with 21st Century staying power." Blouin was asked if he learned anything in his run for governor that will help him in Dubuque. He replied, "Uh, yeah, just don’t do that again."
But Blouin says he has learned something in over 20 years of working in economic development — every community in the state "is hungry for a future" Blouin says the cities want something they can "sink their teeth into and identify as a reason to have hope." Blouin says Dubuque has been working for 20 years to pull itself out of the worst economic downturn it it’s history and has reached a whole new level reinventing itself.
He says, "Now is not the time to say whoa, now is the time to actually pick it up." Blouin referred questions about whether he had continued to seek to stay on as the DED director to Governor-elect Culver’s office.