The Made in NY Production Assistant Training Program, which offers free training programs for unemployed and low income New Yorkers for jobs in the local film and television industry, has reached the milestone of graduating more than 400 PAs since the program’s inception in 2006.
The program was developed in partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, a local nonprofit organization that works to empower low-income New Yorkers with employment opportunities and access to career paths.
As part of the Made in NY PA Training Program, participants receive five weeks of free, intensive, hands-on training that covers everything from set etiquette and walkie talkie jargon to community outreach strategies and life management skills. On graduation, the new PAs are put to work on sets and in production offices for feature films, TV shows, commercials and other productions taking place in New York City. The program continues to support the graduates by providing two years of job placement assistance as the PAs also begin to build their network of contacts in the industry.
“In the last 12 years New York City’s film and television industry has grown considerably, now employing over 130,000 New Yorkers,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “The more than 400 ‘Made in NY’ PAs who have gone through this program are a testament to the expanded job opportunities in film and TV production for all New Yorkers.”
“Production assistants are the face of a production, and ‘Made in NY’ PAs are the best and the brightest,” said Commissioner Katherine Oliver, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “The success of the ‘Made in NY’ PA Training Program means not only do young New Yorkers have the chance to learn new skills and start new careers, but also that they help keep the City film friendly by interacting with their fellow residents when productions film on location.”
Since the program’s start in 2006, “Made in NY” PAs have worked on over 2,000 productions, including Boardwalk Empire, Royal Pains, Nurse Jackie, Person of Interest and The Following, among others. Many graduates are also advancing in their careers, becoming associate producers, production coordinators, camera operators and set costumers and gaining union membership.