MR. WORKFARE TO WELFARE POOR: ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK

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Richard Schwartz, the architect of Mayor Giuliani’s workfare program, wants to bid a fond farewell to thousands of poor New Yorkers who can’t find jobs in the wake of the federal welfare overhaul.

Schwartz, speaking at a March 26 welfare forum sponsored by the New York City Partnership, said welfare recipients kicked off the dole after the imposition of five-year time limits should take their plight beyond Gotham’s borders.

“People may find that their best economic opportunity is out of the city,” said Schwartz, who recently left his post as special mayoral advisor to start his own workfare consulting business. “Geographic movement is one of the greatest [aspects] of American society.”

Asked by a questioner how people who get kicked off welfare can expect to find decent-paying work in a city that has lost over 300,000 jobs since 1990, Schwartz cryptically answered: “I have a two-word answer: Opportunity America.”

Opportunity America is the name of the company Schwartz has founded.

“I have two words for Richard Schwartz,” responded Robert Carmona, who runs a work training program for welfare recipients in East Harlem. “Yeah, right!”