First-in-the-Nation Fund to Allocate Percentage of Film Tax Credits for Job Training and Workforce Development
Fund to Provide More Than $1 Million Per Year to Foster Diversity and Workforce Readiness Across the Entertainment Industry
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the first-in-the-nation Empire State Entertainment Diversity Job Training Development Fund. Productions participating in the New York State Film Production and Post-Production Tax Credit Programs will see a small reduction in their tax credits that will be diverted into a fund for job training and workforce development across the entertainment industry. The fund was passed as part of an end-of-session comprehensive capital spending bill and will initially provide $1.05 million per year.
"New York's strength is in its diversity, and we are always looking for ways to enhance it," Governor Cuomo said. "This first-in-the-nation program will provide new resources to propel us toward becoming the most inclusive entertainment industry in the country, while continuing to produce amazing film and TV productions."
"Investing in workforce development is essential to provide individuals with the skills they need for jobs in industries across the state," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This job training fund will provide workforce development opportunities in the entertainment fields to fill jobs in the growing industry. We are targeting resources to ensure training is available for jobs and to keep moving our economy forward."
The fund will ensure that the jobs related to the growth of New York's entertainment industry are filled by New Yorkers who represent the diverse nature of New York State. The legislation charges Empire State Development with creating regulations for the fund and administrating grants to create the program. ESD will solicit input and suggestions from the film industry, educational community and the public to determine the needs of jobs in the industry and ways to make the program most impactful.
This legislation builds upon the unprecedented job training partnership between New York State, Bronx Community College and IATSE Local 52. Announced in October with recruitment beginning in August, the Film Production Training Program at BCC is a new 14-week program that will train up to 100 students annually for work in union trade crafts, such as property, carpentry and electric. New York State awarded BCC a $375,000 grant to cover part of the cost of the two-year program.
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said,"New York's diversity should shine through in the hiring practices of all industries, and today's announcement will provide over $1 million per year to provide needed job training and workforce development resources to help the state's entertainment industry continue to lead the way on diversity nationwide."
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, "Although New York is home to one of the most diverse audiences for entertainment, people of color are still severely underrepresented in the entertainment industry. New Yorkers should be able to enjoy entertainment that is truly representative of the world they live in. While there is still much work to be done, this investment is a much-needed step towards promoting a more diverse workforce in our state's film industry."
Jeff Shell, Chairman, NBCUniversal Film & Entertainment Group, said, "NBCUniversal has a long-standing commitment to developing the next generation of talent, both in front of and behind the camera. We applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this issue and his administration's continued attention to fostering diversity in the media industry."
Charles Rivkin, Chairman & CEO, Motion Picture Association of America said, "The Motion Picture Association of America is committed to building a diverse and inclusive pipeline for our industry. Supporting creative professionals from a wide array of backgrounds not only promotes a diverse workforce but also ensures the stories we tell on screen reflect the diversity in our communities and audiences. We look forward to working with our partners and New York State on this innovative, first-in-the-nation program which will foster industry diversity in New York through new funding for job training and workforce development."
IATSE International Vice President and Local 52 President John Ford said, "Local 52 is excited for our training program with New York State and Bronx Community College. These new programs can help ensure a steady stream of qualified, diverse workers to service the growing needs of production well into the future. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and the Legislature's support of the film tax credit, the industry is busier than ever before."