The settlement of Kings County began in the 17th century as the small Dutch-founded town of "Breuckelen" on the East River shore of Long Island, grew to be a sizable city in the 19th century, and was consolidated in 1898 with New York City. Since consolidation with New York City in 1898, Brooklyn has been governed by the New York City Charter that provides for a "strong" mayor-council system.
The centralized New York City government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, libraries, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply, and welfare services for Kings County.
Main Industries: Strong international immigration to Brooklyn generates jobs in services, retailing and construction.
In recent years, Brooklyn has benefited from a steady influx of financial back-office operations from Manhattan, the rapid growth of a high-tech and entertainment economy in DUMBO, and strong growth in support services such as accounting, personal supply agencies, and computer services firms. First established as a shipbuilding facility in 1801, the Brooklyn Navy Yard employed 70,000 people at its peak during World War II and was then the largest employer in the borough. Later tenants include industrial design firms, food processing businesses, artisans, and the film and television production industry. About 230 private-sector firms providing 4,000 jobs are at the Yard. Construction and services are the fastest growing sectors. Most employers in Brooklyn are small businesses.
Education: Public colleges include Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Medgar Evers College(CUNY), CUNY's New York City College of Technology (City Tech), SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Kingsborough Community College. Private colleges in Brooklyn are Brooklyn Law School, Long Island University, Pratt Institute, New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering, St. Francis College, Saint Joseph's College and Boricua College.
Land: Kings County is home to many parks and attractions including Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Prospect Park, Coney Island, Floyd Bennett Field; the first municipal airport in New York City and long closed for operations, is now part of the National Park System. Green-Wood Cemetery, one of the most significant cemeteries in the United States, and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.