CLOSED FOR BUSINESS

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FYI: Mayor Bloomberg signed legislation yesterday closing down the city’s Department of Employment and folding its functions into other agencies. Bloomberg, who shepherded the bill through the Council as part of the budget negotiations, says the change will save the city millions of dollars by streamlining operations. But questions about whether or not those savings will materialize aside, critics worry that job training programs will be thrown into chaos. The Center for an Urban Future, a think tank affiliated with City Limits, noted that the mayor failed to consult with private sector leaders before dumping DOE, and warned that this could alienate the businesses that must participate in workforce development programs for them to succeed. [7/17/03]