Grossman said that state statistics show that unemployment in Newburyport fell from 6 percent to 4.7 percent in the past several years.
“The degree of progress in this community is very encouraging,” he said. “I read that this has been the best summer ever. This community has a good feeling about it; I sense it every time I am here.”
Grossman said he has one concern for Massachusetts in coming years: educating the next generation of occupational talent.
He noted that about 80 percent of graduates of state universities and community colleges stay in Massachusetts.
He urged local business professionals to get involved with nearby state-supported colleges to inform academic leaders about their hiring needs.
“We need to develop a system that serves local enterprises and industries,” said Grossman. “If you have needs in your businesses, let educators know so that programs can be created that can be used in the local job market.”
Grossman praised state Rep. Mike Costello, D-Newburyport, who was in attendance, for being instrumental in creating a state program that enables nonprofit institutions to offer retirement benefits to employees.
He also singled out City Councilor Kathleen O’Connor Ives, who recently won the Democratic nomination for state Senate.
“Katy worked in my campaign for governor (2001-2002),” said Grossman. “She is very capable, and was like a member of our family in the way she understood what we were doing and how to be effective within the campaign.
“I have no doubt she will emerge as a state senator.”