On the afternoon of October 23, the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program graduated its 41st class of participants since the program’s inception. This program was developed in partnership between the Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME) and Brooklyn Workforce Innovations (BWI) in 2006. The "Made in NY" Production Assistant Training Program prepares unemployed and low income New Yorkers for entry level jobs in the local film and television industry. After 4 weeks of intense training, 19 graduates were presented with "Made in NY" certificates during a ceremony attended by family, friends, BWI staff and representatives from MOME.
Program Director Venus Anderson (herself a PA graduate) led the ceremony which included congratulatory remarks from BWI instructors and Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Acting Commissioner Luis Castro.
"New York City is an amazing place to film, not just because we have the best locations but because we have the best crews" said Castro, as he welcomed the graduates to the community of NYC's talented, hard-working production personnel. Castro also acknowledged the challenges the graduates had faced to get to this point. He placed emphasis on the drive it would take to succeed in their new careers.
A majority of the graduates thanked BWI staff, the Mayor's Office and their fellow cyclemates for their support during the training. Graduate Jon "Red" Emerenciano spoke on how the training had taught them the importance of professionalism and consideration when working in NYC communities and how Cycle 41 would do their best to keep neighborhoods film-friendly.
The PA program graduates four Cycles per year and is in its tenth year.