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Gov. candidate Steve Grossman promises jobs

ORANGE — If elected governor, state Treasurer Steve Grossman promises to invest in western Massachusetts, turning Orange, Greenfield and Gardner into gateway cities and encouraging job growth.

“We need to create jobs,” Grossman, a Democrat said. “We want our children to live here, work here, play here and stay here. This is a part of the state that understands that we can do that if we bring the business community, educators, planners and citizens together.”

On Friday, about 30 people crammed into the Millers River Cafe to hear the treasurer speak at a campaign stop organized by state Rep. Denise Andrews of the 2nd Franklin District.

Grossman, elected treasurer in 2010, is making his first bid for governor. He is among a growing list of Democratic primary candidates, including Attorney General Martha Coakley, former Medicare and Medicaid administrator Don Berwick and former Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem.

With 35 years of private business experience, Grossman’s main issue is jobs and economic growth. He has promised to create 50,000 manufacturing jobs in Massachusetts in the next five years. As treasurer, Grossman said he invested state money that had been in overseas banks into state community banks and created the Small Business Banking Partnership to help small businesses get the money they need to grow.

“I’m the only candidate running who spent my life creating jobs in the private sector,” Grossman said.

Grossman is a fourth generation small-businessman and CEO of Grossman Marketing Group, a consultant group focusing on concept development. In 1910, Grossman Marketing Group was founded by Maxwell Grossman in Springfield.

“In our 104th year, we still remember what a Western Mass. company did by taking a chance on Max Grossman. I owe a debt of gratitude to Western Mass,” Grossman said.

With high-tech manufacturing jobs returning, Grossman said he is not willing to accept the idea that the jobs and businesses can’t come to the western part of the state.

“We can bring companies here and give them incentives to be here,” Grossman said. “We need to show the business community this part of the state has resources and we have the capital, people and education.”

Grossman promised he would not forget the four western counties of the state.

“I promise when I’m governor next January, I’ll be back here to talk about what we can do together,” Grossman said.

While Grossman focused on economic development and job growth, some residents asked how he would address the increasing opiate drug problem plaguing the Northeast.

“I don’t know of any county that has been impacted by drug abuse like Franklin County. It’s an epidemic,” Grossman said.

Grossman suggested the state take a regional approach to the issue, working with Vermont’s governor who made heroin use the focus of his state of the state address this year.

Grossman said he has already communicated with Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan and John Merrigan of the Franklin Register of Probate and Family Court. He said the best approach would be to work with local officials to come up with solutions.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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