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"Made in NY" PA Training Program Welcomes 19 New PAs to the Family

The largest cycle of "Made in NY" PAs celebrates certification. Photo courtesy of BWI.

June 5, 2012 - The “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program has graduated its largest cycle ever. Nineteen individuals were certified as “Made in NY” PAs at a recent ceremony attended by family and friends. These PAs are now ready to make their mark working in the City’s thriving production industry.

The instructors from Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, who along with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment developed the program, spoke to the graduates as they prepared to get their certificates. “You became a family,” program director Katy Finch told them. “You’re never going to forget each other.”

“You all have what it takes to be successful,” said Nancy Goldman, the program’s job developer, who will provide job placement assistance to the graduates for up to two years.

Many of the graduates personally thanked Mara Prater for seeing something in them during the interview phase of the program. Prater is the associate program manager and is in charge of recruitment. “Now it’s time to prove to the world you have what it takes,” she said. “It’s up to you to be one of those people who make it.”

Master of ceremonies Julian Montoya started off the festivities with a heartfelt speech about how far the graduates had come. “Some of us came with BAs, some from the military, some with no production experience,” he said. “We shared the same approach to take hold of our destinies. We’re ready to take what life gives us.”

Sean Boyd recalled how he wasn’t sure he was going to get through the program. “Anything is possible,” he said. “I have a new perception of things. I’m glad to be a part of [the program].”

Before finding out about the PA training program, Jermaine Cameron had attended college and was working, but he didn’t know how to get into production. He marveled at how he got through the month of training. “It was a hard month,” he remembered, “getting to class at 7:45am and living in the Bronx.”

“I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life until I came here,” said Arnold Jaglal, who thanked the instructors for all of their encouragement.

“I’m never going to forget you all,” said Stanley Leung. “I’m really proud of everyone.”

Gregory Gobin was glad that he was able to make it through the program. “As a graduate of the program, we’re given a huge responsibility,” he said, adding how he wants to bring value to the “Made in NY” name. “I want to continue to grow as a person and in this industry.”

Several of the Cycle 26’s graduates have served in the military. Christopher Fox has served in the US Army Reserve since 2007 and is still active. He was deployed to Iraq in 2008 for a year as part of the 140th Quartermaster Company. Dave Francis Baluyut joined the US Army Reserves in 2010, and worked as a human resources specialist. “This program reminds me a lot of the military,” he said, referring to the structured nature of the classes.

Reynaldo Hernandez served overseas in Iraq and is an all around combat veteran. After serving four and a half years in the National Guard and returning home, Hernandez struggled to find satisfying work. He had aspirations to work in media and entertainment and tried interning at some studios, but wasn’t making the right connections until someone from his unit told him about the “Made in NY” PA Training Program. “I poured my heart out in the [application] questionnaire,” he said. “This is what I want.”

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