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Cycle 22 Joins the Ranks of the "Made in NY" PA Training Program

Cycle 22 celebrates its certification as “Made in NY” PAs. Photo courtesy of BWI.
July 1, 2011 - On a sunny afternoon in June, a group of young New Yorkers gathered for a graduation ceremony that was slightly different from the dozens of other ceremonies happening at the same time. The latest cycle of “Made in NY” PAs, who had just gone through four and a half weeks of intense training to acquire the skills needed to work on film and TV sets and in production offices, were ready to start their careers in production.

The “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program, developed in partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, now consists of over 300 graduates with the addition of the ten new PAs from Cycle 22 who finished their training on June 2.

Before the PAs received their certificates, staff from BWI and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, along with the PAs themselves, took time to reflect on the cycle’s achievements.

“I love to see your development into confident individuals who have passion and drive,” said Mara Prater, the associate program director.

Nancy Goldman, the program’s job developer, told the PAs that she had just spoken to the productions where the PAs did their internships. “They said you’re ready to go,” explained Nancy. “You’re already on the way to reaching your goals.”

Many of the PAs spoke about how much they learned during the course of the training. “I learned I can wake up at 5am and smile,” said Nicole Oritz. Steven Harris explained that he thought he would have to know someone in the industry in order to get ahead. “I learned more here in four weeks than two years of film school,” said Miguel Virola.

“You guys are going to make me the man I want to be and the filmmaker I want to be,” said Terrell Merrill. “Our goal is to make ‘Made in NY’ proud.”

“I never thought this was possible,” said Sabrina Rodrigues. “This is all I ever wanted to do.”

“It’s been my lifelong goal to be in the entertainment industry,” said Giovanni Clark. “I hope to one day to make you proud.”

Katy Finch, the program’s director, told the PAs that she wants them to love their job. “We want you to feel fulfilled, successful and accomplished,” she said.

The “Made in NY” PAs will now go on to receive two years of job placement from BWI as they begin their work in film and television production. Previous graduates from the program have advanced to positions in the locations and camera departments, among many other others, as well as directing and producing their own films.

“You’ll see our name in the credits soon enough,” said Marcus Asknes.
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