Atlanta Launches Nation’s First-Ever Entertainment Training Program

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Atlanta will be the first American city to train workers specifically for the film industry. 

You’ve spotted filming signs scattered around town. You’ve driven past filming locations decked out with camera equipment and crew. Heck, you may’ve been lucky enough to have spotted a Hollywood star or two in a local Atlanta institution. But have you ever wondered what it’s like to work on one of the production sets in the area? To contribute first-hand in the creation of movie magic? Now, you can. 

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE Local 479) recently announced plans to launch the City of Atlanta Entertainment Training Program designed specifically to train below-the-line workers for Georgia’s entertainment industry.

Currently in the pilot stage, the Entertainment Training Program (ETP) will provide instruction and direct workforce access for Georgia residents to support our thriving #GAfilm industry. The program will build a talent pool of locally-trained crew members to work on pre- and post-production work as below-the-line workers. This includes everyone from boom operators and gaffers to hair/make-up stylists and graphic artists — essentially any crew member that is not an actor, writer, producer or director.

Admission into the ETP will be a on a rolling basis. Any Atlanta resident who is 18 years or older, has a valid Georgia Driver’s License, and is registered with the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency (AWDA) can participate. AWDA will identify qualified applicants as trainees for Atlanta productions and pay trainees’ wages for the length of the program, which is up to 17 weeks. Once the trainees finish the program, IATSE Local 479 will transition them into the local film industry with an intensive two-day workshop. Available positions will be dependent on the number of current productions that participate in the program.

This inaugural program is certainly exciting for our camera-ready state. In fiscal year 2015 alone, Georgia’s film and television industry generated an economic impact of over $6 billion and directly employed more than 23,000 people. With the recent establishment of the Georgia Film Academy and now the introduction of the Entertainment Training Program, it is safe to say those numbers will continue to thrive. 

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