PRESS RELEASE - September 14, 2004
Office of The Governor
Capitol Bldg., 4th Floor
Santa Fe, NM 87503

Pahl Shipley
(505) 476-2202

Governor Bill Richardson Launches Comprehensive
Film Workforce Training Program

SANTA FE- Governor Bill Richardson today announced the launch of a comprehensive workforce training program to prepare New Mexicans for careers in the film industry. The Governor is allocating $1 million for the purchase of a “mobile” film equipment package which will be used for student classrooms and production training on actual film projects.

“This program will help more New Mexicans find good, high-wage jobs in the movie industry,” said Governor Richardson. “As we grow our movie industry through incentives and aggressive recruiting, it’s critical we have the qualified workforce to handle the increasing number of film projects.”

The Film Technicians Training Program will be implemented by the Film Office of the New Mexico Economic Development Department in collaboration with the International Alliance of Theater and Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 480, the studio mechanics union. The program is being developed by the Santa Fe Community College.

“Filmmakers want to work in New Mexico, and the more people we train the more films will be shot here,” says Rick Homans, Cabinet Secretary for New Mexico Economic Development Department. “This training program will result in new, good paying jobs and opportunities for New Mexicans.”

The pilot program, comprised of three thirteen-week semesters, will begin at the Santa Fe Community College on Monday, September 27, 2004, with instructors from IATSE. Beginning in January 2005, Albuquerque Technical-Vocational Institute (TVI) will begin the first semester of the program. Once the pilot program is complete, the Film Technicians Training Program can be offered to all New Mexico Community Colleges and technical-vocational schools throughout the state.

“This is a gift to the people of New Mexico from the Governor and the legislature,” says Jon Hendry, Business Agent for IATSE Local 480, “ By investing in our people we will train New Mexicans to be the best film technicians in the country, if not the world. ”
Training includes working on a production in each semester:
o Semester 1: Students learn overview of entire film and media industry and will work as Production Assistants (P.A.) and some crew positions on an actual production. Instructors work as Keys and Department Heads
o Semester 2: Students identify a department of interest and will generally learn the different position within a specific department. Students will move up from P.A. status and work solely in crew positions. Instructors will work as Department Heads and Keys
o Semester 3: Students will learn all aspects of 2-3 specific positions (crafts) and crew a complete production. Instructors will oversee the production and mentor students.

“This is an exciting chance to support the education and training needed to expand the film industry in New Mexico,” states Jim McLaughlin, the President of Santa Fe Community College.

As New Mexico’s film and media industry continues to grow, the key to the states’ ongoing success is the increase of trained film technicians. Graduates of the program will have three “production credits” and will be eligible for IATSE Local 480 membership. In addition, graduates of the program are “certified” by the New Mexico Film Office, IATSE, and the educational institution that provides the training. This certification qualifies the students for participation in the Film Workforce Training Program, a 50% reimbursement program, which is an incentive for producers to hire New Mexicans.

“This is a great opportunity to nurture our natural resources - New Mexico screenwriters, directors, producers, actors and our traditional film school students- by developing their projects through this program,” says Lisa Strout, Director of the New Mexico Film Office.

This is the first phase of Governor Richardson’s two-phase film workforce training initiative. In January, the Governor will be calling upon the legislature for an additional one million dollars to fund the second phase - The Advanced Worker Program. It is designed to provide additional training for existing film crew members who need to upgrade or enhance their skills in order to fill New Mexico crew deficiencies. The Advanced Worker Program will help to keep New Mexico's existing film crews world class.

Enrollment is expected to be at least sixty students per year, at each location. For more information, call Barton Bond at the Santa Fe Community College: (505) 428-1320 or e-mail