June 1, 2015 - In recent weeks, the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program has welcomed 33 New Yorkers to its ranks of graduates, who are ready to start their careers in the film and television industry. The program, which prepares unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers for jobs on film sets, was developed in partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Media and Brooklyn Workforce Innovations. Approximately 570 New Yorkers have participated in the program since its creation and gone on to work in the film and television industry.
Cycle 40 graduated on May 29 with 17 graduates. Media and Entertainment Commissioner Cynthia López congratulated the newly minted “Made in NY” PAs and shared some helpful words of career advice mined from her own 25 years of experience in the industry. She emphasized the importance of excellence and believing in yourself. “It’s not about whether or not you have tough days,” she said. “It’s how you respond to those tough days.”
As they received their certificates, graduates thanked BWI, their instructors, and family for their support throughout the training process, emphasizing how much they learned and how excited they were to begin working on sets. Cycle 40 also had the largest number of participants in BWI’s NY Drives program, which helps New Yorkers get their drivers’ licenses.
On April 2, Cycle 39’s 16 graduates became certified “Made in NY” PAs in a ceremony that included their family and friends.
Tai Geiger acknowledged how she had felt stuck in previous jobs and how it was a long road to get to this moment. “I don’t look at movies the same way anymore,” she said. “I look at the credits.”
Diana Geller echoed those sentiments. “I was directionless until I came here,” she said. “Everything started to make sense. We all came here with unique challenges.” She went on to say how important it was for her daughter to see her graduate.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life,” said Maya Sheppard. “This program kind of saved me.”
Interested in learning more about how to apply to the “Made in NY” PA Training Program? Click here.