Throughout the year we showcase an individual who participated in the "Made in NY" PA Training Program. Click here for information on the free, month-long program developed in conjunction with Brooklyn Workforce Innovations and designed to create job opportunities for New Yorkers, connect New Yorkers with employers in the industry, and educate production assistants on how to work collaboratively with the communities in which they shoot.
July 13, 2015 - This month we look at a quartet of “Made in NY” graduates who are making great strides in their careers in the entertainment industry. Following completion of their training with the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program, which was developed in partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, these New Yorkers have been working behind the scenes on films and TV shows in New York City and are now making their working their way up the career ladder.
June 1, 2015 - A Harlem native, Willie Westone knew he wanted to work in the television/movie industry ever since he was a teenager. After seeing ads in the subways about the “Made in NY” PA Training Program, he did some research, but kept putting off attending an info session for months. “Then I randomly jumped up out of bed and ran to one,” he remembered. “Made it with like five minutes to spare.”
The training, which prepares unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers for entry-level jobs in the production industry, was “hard work but fun,” as he described it, and “one of the greatest experiences I'll always cherish.” He went on to say: “There wasn't a moment in class that wasn't vital for thriving in this industry.”
An internship on The Last Five Years during the final days of training caused a domino effect that led him to work on America’s Got Talent as a post PA and later as the show’s post coordinator. He also worked on a host of productions, including The Following, Hostages, Run All Night, and My Dead Boyfriend. More recently he’s worked as the post PA on A&E’s The First 48.
April 15, 2015 - Robert “NASA” Maasin shifted gears in a significant way two years ago when he went from being a phlebotomist to working in the entertainment industry.
After getting laid off from his job, Maasin knew he wanted to pursue a different path and applied to the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program. The training got him “ready for PA life,” and two years later, he’s got a slew of credits to his name.
Since becoming a “Made in NY” PA, the native of Jackson Heights, Queens has worked on The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Anchorman 2, Boardwalk Empire, and The Blacklist.
February 6, 2015 - While working at a department store, Shanye Fayson knew he wanted to do something different with his life. Now he has a career in the entertainment industry and is starting his own business.
The Brooklyn resident accomplished this by being a part of the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program, which prepares unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers for entry level jobs in film and television program. Fayson was a part of Cycle 31 and graduated as a “Made in NY” PA in June 2013.
The program taught him what it’s really like to be a production assistant and how to network. As part of the training, he learned how important it is to leave a good impression on everyone he meets. The program also introduced him to new friends.
January 5, 2015 - A commute to one job helped set Katherine Fernandez on the path to a whole new career. Fernandez, who lives in Inwood in northern Manhattan, was working part-time as a receptionist in Queens when she saw an ad on the subway for the “Made in NY” PA Training Program, the free training program that prepares New Yorkers for entry level positions in the entertainment industry. Fernandez had always had a passion for the industry and was enamored by the idea of being part of a movie or TV show that would be seen by people all over the world. “[It] was fascinating to me,” she said.