Cycle 33 of the “Made in NY” PA Training Program Looks Confidently to the Future

Cycle 33 joins the "Made in NY" family as the latest group of PAs. Photo courtesy of MOME.

November 4, 2013 - A happy and eager group of new production assistants officially joined the “Made in NY” family as Cycle 33 of the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program completed their training. The nine PAs, who had undergone several weeks of intensive training to learn the ins and outs of working in entry level positions on film and TV sets, picked up their certificates in a special ceremony attended by friends, family, Brooklyn Workforce Innovations staff and members of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment on October 11.

Program director Anna Novick began by thanking the friends and families for everything they’ve done for the PAs. “They wouldn’t be here without your support,” she said. “It makes a huge difference that the PAs have the support of their families.”

Mara Prater, the associate program manager, told the graduates that out of the hundreds of applicants that were interested in the “Made in NY” PA Training Program, they stood out. “I congratulate you for accomplishing your goal.”

Venus Anderson, another BWI staffer who graduated from Cycle 9 of the program, marveled at how far the PAs had come since their first day of training. “Now you guys have so much knowledge.”

Training coordinator Jason “Rowdy” Rody continued his tradition of giving each graduate a marble. “When you’re in a van waiting for hours for first team to come out, think about your marble,” he said. “Think about your affirmation, and remember why you’re in the business.”

Before the certificates were handed out, Katherine Oliver, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, spoke about how the “Made in NY” PA Training Program has been a crowning achievement. “We’re really proud that you’re out there with the ‘Made in NY’ seal,” she said.

“I got it,” said Terrance Smith as he picked up his certificate smiling. “You’ve helped us see what dreams were really about.”

Many of the graduates, like Howard Millington-Lee and Meghan Wilson, expressed their thanks to the instructors for their guidance. Ralph Rodriguez shared how much he appreciated being a part of the PA Training Program.

“I’m beyond grateful for this program,” said Alyssa Longchamp, adding, “And it’s free. I’m so confident about my future, and I haven’t been that way in a long time.”

Javon Harrell noted how quickly the group bonded during the course of their training. “We came as strangers,” he said, “and leave as family.”

Sean Cox echoed those sentiments. “This is an amazing program, he said. “I’ve been through a lot, and I wish everyone the best.” Jonathan Bleibdrey added his words of encouragement, “I hope to see you on top!”

Crystal Ray summed up the feelings of her fellow “Made in NY” best: “I really want to be successful. Graduating from the program is like a dream come true. I’m going to make something of myself.”

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