2022 Grants Challenge

Handy Foundation Pre-Apprenticeship Youth Training and Job Placement Program

The Handy Foundation will expand its program of training BIPOC youth 18-24 to acquire skills and gain employment in the postproduction tv/film industry. The program includes 4 months of pre-apprenticeship assessment and training to teach foundation technical and soft skills followed by 4 months of advanced software training by industry professionals. The final step is preparing youth to enter employment in postproduction jobs through networking and by connecting them to employers who have committed to hire program graduates.


Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

Los Angeles Urban League Atlas Digital

What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Access to Creative Industry Employment (sponsored by Snap Foundation)

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA

West LA

South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Over the last 10 years, Film and Television production increased over 300% with no shift in hiring practices, but while increasing diversity above the line has been a focus, there have been no increases in diversity within below-the-line programs. 95% of industry jobs are the technical behind the camera, but BIPOC editors comprise only 5.7% of editors. The Motion Picture Editors Guild estimates less than 2.5% of union members are African American. We believe that if more youth of color have the right technical and soft skills training and develop key professional networks, which are critical to accessing job opportunities, they can secure postproduction employment. Another challenge we address is that film schools do not train for the skills used in Television. 95% of television programming is edited on Avid systems, while most schools teach on Adobe platforms. That’s why we use Avid systems and industry-trained instructors in our training and pre-employment programs.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

The Foundation will expand its program of training BIPOC youth 18-24 to acquire skills and gain employment in the postproduction tv/film industry. In a 1-year period, the project will train 30 youth; at least 24 will complete the full program. Software training is conducted virtually, while placement is virtual and in person. We will target newcomers seeking a new career path and candidates must demonstrate basic proficiency in an editing platform to enter Phase 1. Phase 1 [4 months]: Using social media, community partners, we will recruit and assess 30 youth for phase 1. Youth receive state-of-the art software instruction from working industry experts, and soft skills from staff to determine their proficiency to enter advanced training. Phase 2 [4 months]: Participants learn advanced software skills key to tv/film postproduction jobs: 1. Unscripted, scripted and applicable remote workflows. 2. Media/project management. 3. Technical training taught on professional edit platforms. 4. Practice drills and mock interviews to prepare trainees for real world experience. 5. Job readiness soft skills essential for placement with partner companies as assistant editors and/or story producers. 6. Trainees are carefully evaluated by instructors before job search and placement. Phase 3 [4 months] Placement includes networking with employers who have committed to hire graduates, interviews with employers, and post-placement mentoring and support to ensure job retention.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

The training and placement program will provide opportunities for youth of color to enter and advance in jobs serving the postproduction film/tv industry, which currently has a significant underrepresentation of people of color. The participants, [most are unemployed or in minimum wage jobs], will receive state-of-the art technical training in a leading LA County industry. They will also have access to paid internships with production companies where they will apply skills learned in training as a path to employment. Participants also learn soft skills-communication, conflict resolution, resume/portfolio preparation and interviewing-that increase the likelihood of employment and retention. Our past successes indicate that beyond employment and economic benefits to participants and employers, the community will experience a greater sense of pride, increased family stability and a reduction of involvement in the judicial system which presents greater risk for unemployed youth.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

We measure impact in multiple ways. The number of youths trained and placed in internships or other on-the-job training programs or full employment. The number who are successfully employed and retained in the film/tv industry as postproduction specialists or related fields. The economic value of the projects where our graduates make an impact is another measure of success. Here are some of our impact results: 1. Non-Union Employers 19 Total Cohorts Served 250 Trainees Success Stories -10 Week Average Work on First Shows. -$325,900 Total Collective income From First Shows. -90% Were Extended or Offered permanent Positions. 2. Union Employers 12 Total Cohorts Served 190 Trainees Success Stories -7,010 Union Hours Worked on First Shows. -$250,800 Total Collective income From First Shows. -85% Were Extended or Offered Permanent Positions.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 30

Indirect Impact: 500

Describe the specific role of the partner organization(s) in the project, program, or initiative.

Los Angeles Urban League has worked for several years with the Handy Foundation to support its mission to increase the number of BIPOC youth who are trained and qualified to enter the film/tv postproduction industry. They will assist the Handy Foundation in recruiting youth to apply for training, connecting graduates with employers and placing them in employment by providing access to employers who commit to hiring youth who complete the training program. Atlas Digital will provide postproduction industry instructors to ensure that youth receive up-to-date instruction using current AVID software to prepare them to enter intermediate training and become placed in postproduction editing positions. Two of the instructors are AVID certified and will run an Avid bootcamp to recruit trainees.