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Cycle 23 Celebrates Becoming "Made in NY" PAs

Cycle 23 poses upon completing their training as "Made in NY" PAs.

September 1, 2011 - The newest crop of PAs have joined the "Made in NY" family. Cycle 23 gathered at Brooklyn Workforce Innovations on DeGraw Street in Brooklyn on August 17 to celebrate with their family and friends upon completing the "Made in NY" Production Assistant Training Program.

Since its inception in 2006, more than 300 diverse New Yorkers have been certified as "Made in NY" PAs through the program developed in partnership between the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and BWI. The thirteen graduates from Cycle 23 are now on their way in their careers in the entertainment industry. Shana Evans, one of the PAs, almost had to miss the ceremony because she was on a job interview.

"You'll be surprised how little you'll see them," program director Katy Finch told the assembled family and friends. "It'll all be worthwhile when the credits roll and you'll see their names."

Cycle 23 also marks the first time that trainees earned more than $700 before graduation. Dr. Nancy Goldman, the job developer for the "Made in NY" PA Training Program, told the graduates to keep taking action. "Once you take an action, you are forever changed," she said.

The PAs then took the opportunity to share their thoughts on what the training had meant to them. Many spoke of how their lives had been changed.

"My life wasn't on the right track [before the program]," said Eric Chiriboga. "Everything got so much better."

Brandon McCaskill, who spent a year after graduating from college without a job, told his fellow PAs to stay true to themselves. "When nothing happens, what do you do? You make something happen."

"I'm stronger than I was four weeks ago," said Klarissa Jackson.

Joseph Burden, who moved to the City four years ago, explained how he'd been trying to find his way. "Without this program, I'd still be searching for what I want to do."

"After I got to my internship," said Anthony Rigual, "I realized I want to do this for the rest of my life."
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