ATLANTA –October 17, 2015– Mayor Kasim Reed and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local (IATSE) 479 launched the City of Atlanta Entertainment Training Program, the first job training program in the United States focused on helping the film industry build a talent pool of trained below-the-line workers with relevant experience.
“I am proud to support the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency and the Office of Entertainment’s efforts to facilitate employment opportunities for Atlanta residents in the film and television production industry,” said Mayor Reed. “Providing a trained below-the-line workforce is critical to the film industry’s growth in Atlanta and Georgia. This program will ensure that our residents and young people have access to learn from world-class professionals and acquire vital skills.”
The program, which is a four entity partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment, IATSE Local 479, the film industry and the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency (AWDA), is currently in its pilot phase.
“The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 479, is excited to be working with Mayor Kasim Reed, the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency to introduce residents of Atlanta to the entertainment industry,” said Mike Akins, IATSE Business Agent. “It is our hope that we can help educate and train individuals to work in the Motion Picture Industry.”
At no cost or liability to production companies, the City of Atlanta’s Workforce Development Agency will identify qualified applicants for positions as trainees in motion picture and television productions in Atlanta. AWDA will also pay trainees’ wages for the length of the program, which is up to 17 weeks. Once trainees are accepted into the program, IATSE Local 479 will orient the trainees to the film industry through an intensive two-day workshop and work with production to place trainees on set.
“It’s a great day for our community and local labor force when the Mayor’s Office, the International Alliance of Theatrical & Stage Employees, Atlanta Workforce Development Agency and the filmmaking community can collaborate to provide entry-level opportunities for City of Atlanta residents,” said LaRonda Sutton, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Film & Entertainment. “This amazing program supports Mayor Reed’s vision of facilitating relationships between the film industry and City of Atlanta residents with the desire to take advantage of the program.”
The City of Atlanta Entertainment Training Program is organized through cohorts based on current productions that participate in the program. Depending on the production, the positions open to Atlanta residents vary, which means that the number of participants for each cohort will also vary.
Admission into this program is on a rolling basis. Atlanta residents who are interested in participating must be 18 years of age, have a valid Georgia Driver’s License and must register with AWDA and go through the intake process.
“Through collaboration, we’ve accomplished a goal of getting local residents on production sets in the City of Atlanta, which has never been done before,” said Michael T. Sterling, Executive Director of the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency. “This program will create the pipeline for more local talent to have continued opportunities in the growing film and entertainment industry in the City of Atlanta and Georgia.”
“This program, which is in pilot phase, has been a huge success so far,” said Jim Tripp, unit production manager for Zoe Ever After. “It gave the participants an eye opening awareness of the skilled positions they want to pursue.”
This year, the film industry in Georgia generated an economic impact of over $6 billion and directly employed more than 23,000 people.
For more information about the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, please visit www.atlantaga.gov/awda. Follow the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency on Facebook and Twitter @ATLWorkforce. Follow the Executive Director on Twitter @MikeTSterling.
The Atlanta Workforce Development Agency (AWDA) serves as the workforce system for the City of Atlanta. The agency provides job seekers – adults, dislocated workers (laid-off), and youth (ages 14-21) – with resources to attain sustainable employment and collaborates with business leaders for the recruitment and development of their labor needs.