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"Made in NY" PAs Say "Yes" to Careers in Film and Television

The newest cycle of “Made in NY” celebrates.

April 1, 2011 - The latest cycle of the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program has been certified, and their motto is “Yes!”

At a packed ceremony at Brooklyn Workforce Innovations’ facilities, friends and family gathered to support the eighteen PAs who had completed four and a half weeks of intensive training as they learned the ins and outs of becoming a production assistant, the entry level job in film and television.

“Keep saying yes to everything that comes your way,” said Katy Finch, the program’s director.

One of the largest cycles the program has hosted since its creation five years ago, Cycle 21 joins a family of alumni that now numbers 275 “Made in NY” PAs. The program, which was developed in partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, helps unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers gain the skills they need to work on location and in production offices.

“I can’t wait to hear the stories about you working in the field,” said Mara Prater, the associate program manager.

The PAs, who were chosen out of 300 applicants, also took the opportunity to address the audience and share their personal experiences being part of the program. “It’s an honor to be here,” said Ninah Miller.

Chantelle “Telly” Geathers expressed her thanks to the program and BWI’s staff. “They teach us more than just how to be a PA; they teach us how to be great people.”

The PAs also described how the training program has changed their lives. “There are big opportunities in life, and this is it for me,” said Steve Palacios. “I’m going to take full advantage [of everything I’ve been taught].”

“This has put a smile on my face,” said Matthew “Rabbit” Butler. “I’m like a different person.”

“I feel like I should change my name to ‘Made in NY’ because you’re all family now,” said Steve Hewett. “We can go from here and support our families.”

Speaking on behalf of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, David Moy, the agency’s supervisor of field operations, shared anecdotes about when he first started out as a PA. Moy told the PAs how he learned on the job, adding how lucky the “Made in NY” PAs are to be equipped with knowledge to excel in production. “When you’re locking up a set and asking a resident not to walk down a street [for a few moments], you’re doing it respectfully and politely so that productions will be welcomed back,” he said.

After receiving their “Made in NY” certificates, the PAs gathered for one final group photo and then celebrated as they embark on their new career paths.

“It’s amazing what you can do when you say yes,” said Moy. “Go out there and make us proud.
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