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Breaking Boundaries Event Supports “Made In NY” PA Training Program

New York City-based nonprofit organization Brooklyn Workforce Innovations will gather film and television production professionals for a celebration and networking event on the evening of Thursday, May 17th.  The event – Breaking Boundaries – will offer valuable networking opportunities while celebrating industry diversity and a job training program that is connecting hundreds of diverse, low-income New Yorkers with significant career opportunities in the booming local television and film production industry.

The mission of the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program is to promote diversity in the television and film production industry and create new job opportunities for low-income young adults. Operated by nonprofit Brooklyn Workforce Innovations (BWI) in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, the program recruits aspiring production professionals from communities across the five boroughs for a rigorous five-week training course. Trainees are educated by industry professionals in production basics, including production department and crew roles such as walkie use and set etiquette. Graduates of the training program earn certifications as “Made in NY” Production Assistants and receive job placement assistance and long-term career counseling to help them advance into higher-skilled positions.

By all accounts, the “Made in NY” PA Program has been extremely successful. “All of BWI’s training programs are designed to prepare New Yorkers for in-demand professions, but the PA program has had unprecedented success, placing almost every one of its graduates over the past few years into production jobs,” said Aaron Shiffman, Executive Director of Brooklyn Workforce Innovations. “It’s clear that, with the help of the Mayor’s Office, we’ve pinpointed a career path that is in need of quality talent, a population in need of quality career options, and a training curriculum that effectively bridges that gap.”

Since the program launched in February 2006, “Made in NY” has trained nearly 350 individuals and placed highly-qualified PAs on more than 2,000 productions. Graduates have moved into advanced positions including Assistant Director, Camera Assistant, Script Supervisor, Assistant Locations Manager, Grip, Associate Producer, Set Decorator, Casting Coordinator, Set Costumer and more. Notably, graduates are now entering the unions including Local 52 and Local 600, the Director’s Guild of America (DGA), Editors Guild and Local 764 (wardrobe union).

The Breaking Boundaries event will not only offer BWI’s training programs with the critical operating funds they need to continue their important work, but will also honor some of the key supporters and industry leaders working to help low-income New Yorkers break into film and television production. At the event, Celebrity Host Al Roker will present awards to CBS’s Blue Bloods, for flooding its production staff with “Made in NY” graduates; Michael “Boogie” Pinkney for tearing down barriers to TV and film careers by teaching, hiring and inspiring; and Myo Campbell, a MiNY Program Graduate, for beating the odds and becoming an industry success story.

Every dollar of support allows Brooklyn Workforce Innovations to produce an even greater positive impact on NYC. For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please visit the event webpage (

For more information, please contact Shawn Hegele, Director of Fundraising at (718) 237-2017, extension 167 or email

To read the 411 Publishing article regarding the Made in New York PA Training Program (12/2010), please viist: