NEW YORK — Chinatown’s garment industry has changed dramatically since the Sept. 11 attacks that altered the perception of what it’s like to work in the city.

The neighborhood’s workforce is much smaller than it was, but some contractors that were closed for weeks or months after the attacks — a period when much of Chinatown was enclosed in a National Guard-enforced security cordon — have since reopened. The woes of Chinatown’s garment workers, as well as those who lost their jobs in stores and restaurants, have also attracted the attention of local government officials, creating the hope that some of the steps they are taking to preserve the industry will help stop the erosion of Manhattan manufacturing that was well under way before the destruction of the World Trade Center.

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