The graduates of cycle 18 show off their new 'Made in NY' hats.
Photo courtesy of MOFTB.
By Krista Corrao
June 2, 2010 - “Made in New York...Cycle 18!” echoed through the room as the newest graduates of the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program celebrated their certification on Friday, May 21, 2010. Since its initial cycle in 2006, 228 individuals have gone through the training and are now called “Made in NY” PAs.
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 free training, giving participants the skills needed to work on set and in production offices.
Katy Finch, the “Made in NY” PA program director, gave a moving speech to the graduates as they prepared to embark on their journey through the world of production. “If you approach work in the industry as an arena to strengthen those abilities, you will find it changes your life beyond your career.” She expressed her belief for the PAs that through their training, they are even more prepared to take charge of their career.
Mara Prater, the associate program manager, welcomed the new graduates into the elite group of New Yorkers that have made it through the program. Now part of a new family, “…we are here through the good and the bad,” she said. “You now have the keys to success and to show the industry what the definition of a rock star PA is.”
Job developer Nancy Goldman, who specializes in job placement, also spoke to the graduates. Goldman spends her time busily placing trainees into positions for two years after they complete the training cycle. She spoke of success, planning, and the ups and downs of the industry. Helping to keep them grounded, she reminded them that “careers are based on little victories and minor setbacks.”
As the career retention specialist, Sky Dietrich talked to the attendees about the obstacles the PAs had to overcome to get to where they are today and what it takes to achieve their goals. “You have a foundation…a family to reach out to,” she said.
Almost all of the 17 graduates spoke and expressed their gratitude to BWI and the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting for the guidance and support that they showed over the four weeks of intense training. All of the impromptu speeches evoked emotions, most notable when Juan Lopez stood and freestyled a rap he wrote, engaging everyone with his creativity.
Julianne Cho, MOFTB associate commissioner, delivered the closing remarks and presented each graduate with their certification diploma and official “Made in NY” hats.
To find out how to hire a “Made in NY” PA for your next production and to learn more about the program, click here.