November 5, 2008 - Ten newly certified “Made in NY” PAs celebrated their graduation surrounded by family and friends on October 17. With the completion of Cycle 12, there are now 149 “Made in NY” PAs working in the entertainment industry in New York City and advancing in their careers.
The “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program, developed in partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting and Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, prepares unemployed and low-income New Yorkers for entry-level positions in the film and television industry. The program provides four weeks of training, giving participants the skills needed to work on set and in production offices. Graduates also receive two years of job placement assistance.
“This career choice – this life choice – can be transforming,” program director Katy Finch told the graduates. “We have very high expectations for all of you.”
“The people who are most successful in this program are the ones who dive right in,” said Nancy Goldman, account manager. “You all have what it takes, the skills and the attitude to succeed.”
Many of the newly certified “Made in NY” PAs took the opportunity to address those gathered at the ceremony. Cycle 12 graduate Rayjoya ‘Nesse’ Johnson explained how she wasn’t familiar with the film industry before the program. “Now my whole world has opened up. This program was one of the best things to happen to me in a long time.” In the future, Johnson plans to work toward a career as a script supervisor.
“We’re so proud that you took a chance on us,” said Commissioner Katherine Oliver, “and we’re going to do our best to make sure you’re ready for everything that comes your way.”
BWI program staff will match productions’ needs with candidates from its pool of trained and certified production assistants. This service is free to employers and program participants. BWI can arrange placements or interviews at any time, from months in advance to the day of a shoot. To hire a PA call the 24 hour production cell at 718-757-5816 or to learn more about the program call Katy Finch at Brooklyn Workforce Innovations at 718-237-2017 x172.