BILLERICA, Mass. (AP) — State treasurer and Democratic candidate for governor Steve Grossman is pushing for greater state and private investment in vocational-technical education programs to help close what he calls the "skills gap" between schools and the job market.

Grossman, speaking to students and teachers at Shawsheen Valley Technical High School in Billerica, said the state needs stronger public-private partnerships to help prepare students for 21st century jobs.

Grossman said his plan also calls for an increase in the number of internship and co-op opportunities in public higher education and modernizing vocational-technical schools by increasing state technology grants and appealing to the private sector to match public dollars.

Grossman is the latest in a series of candidates for governor to release education proposals as the campaign for the state's top elected office picks up steam.