The group trains 45-50 young adults every year as production
assistants and helps them find jobs and move up the ladder. Its motto: creating
ethnic diversity in the entertainment industry since 1992. In addition to the
PAs, there are about 65 others in the career advancement phase (getting into
Streetlights holds three sets of classes each year, with 15
trainees in each group. Individuals each receive 240 hours of training, with
half that time spent working on paid productions.
"We take four weeks to teach absolutely anything and everything
a P.A. would ever need to know,” says [founder Dorothy Thompson], "so our P.A.’s don’t feel like
strangers when they arrive on their first job.” The training covers all aspects
of crew jobs, from use of walkie-talkies to handling purchase orders and return
finishing the program, the trainees are available to work in whatever
department needs assistance: camera, art, grip or props, etc.