Press Releases

"Made in NY" Production Assistant Training Program Creates Career Pathways for Low-Income, BIPOC, and Women in Film & TV Industry, New Study Shows

Buro Happold's analysis of the program's past 15+ years shows an increase in diversity within New York City's Film & TV industry, an 18x return on investment, and 128% increase in salaries over five years for graduates in a new study commissioned by Bloomberg Philanthropies and Brooklyn Workforce Innovations

NEW YORK, NY – Bloomberg Philanthropies and Brooklyn Workforce Innovations today released the "Made in NY" Production Assistant Training Program Evaluation and Impact Study detailing the impact and benefits from this innovative workforce training program. The report was authored by Buro Happold and illustrates that investing in early career development in the production industry creates conditions for well-paying jobs and increases opportunities for underrepresented communities to be a part of this iconic industry.

In 2006, under the leadership of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and then Commissioner Katherine Oliver, the Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment partnered with Brooklyn Workforce Innovations (BWI) to create the "Made in NY" Production Assistant (PA) Training Program. Spurred by the first-ever city/state film tax incentive program, over the past 15+ years, the program has created a pathway into the Film & TV industry for low-income New Yorkers and supported an important increase in the diversity of the industry's workforce.

"A city's bottom line is providing good jobs for residents. The 'Made in NY' PA Training program does just that, training New Yorkers from underserved communities to succeed in film and television, while simultaneously developing everyday ambassadors working to keep New York City production friendly," said Katherine Oliver, Principal at Bloomberg Associates. "I'm so proud to see and share these results. The 'Made in NY' PA Training program has withstood administration changes and Covid-19 – and continues to provide exceptional, diverse talent to the production industry."

Key report findings:

  • 1,100 New Yorkers have been enrolled in the program since 2006
  • 85% of graduates are placed in a paid jobs in the Film & TV industry within one month of graduation
  • 2,000+ productions have hired program graduates since 2006
  • 2.4x increase in annual income in the year after graduation (compared to enrollees' average annual income prior to joining the program
  • 128% further increase in income over the first five years after graduation
  • 36% of graduates are now part of a labor union or guild or are working as union applicants, making equal union wages
  • 78% of graduates continue to work in the Film & TV industry for more than two years after graduation
  • 94% of enrollees are people of color (compared to only 30% overall in the Film & TV production industry in New York City)
  • The return on investment for this program is an astounding 18x over 5 years. For every $1,000 invested by Brooklyn Workforce Innovations for this training program, the benefit incurred in terms of increased income earned by graduates is $18,000 (over 5 years).

"BWI is incredibly proud to have launched and operated the "Made in NY" PA Training Program, which has changed the face of the local TV and film industry while transforming thousands of lives," said Aaron Shiffman, BWI's Executive Director. "We're excited to elevate the long-term impact we have made by providing intensive training, job placement, stalwart support, and career access. Much work lies ahead, and we look forward to connecting many more New Yorkers to dynamic career paths in the industry."

"We are proud of the success of the 'Made in NY' Production Assistant Training Program, which has set the standard for talent development programs across the country and trained over 1,100 New Yorkers to work in film and television production, an industry that now represents 6.5% of the city's gross domestic product," said Commissioner Anne del Castillo of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment. "This study highlights the importance of the program in connecting New Yorkers to jobs and ensuring a steady pipeline of talent for the sector, which the City is committed to growing through our work with the Film and Television Production Industry Council, expansion of soundstage infrastructure, and recruitment of new productions with support from the recent enhancements to the New York State Film Tax Credit."

The Film & TV industry is integral to New York City's economy and directly supports $63.2 billion in economic output and 100,200 jobs. As the industry grows nationally, the need for investments in programs that create pipelines of skilled, set-ready, and diverse candidates is ever more urgent.

Since 2006, the "Made in NY" Production Assistant Training Program is excelling in its mission to deliver on these goals and sets a model for others to follow.