California state Assemblymen Raul Bocanegra and Ian Calderon today introduced legislation aimed at building the state’s below-the-line workforce by increasing funding for entertainment industry job-training programs. The proposed legislation, AB 1664, would increase funding by $1 million for current hands-on training programs geared towards high school and community college students that are run by entertainment unions.

“We have all seen the studies put out by economists about high-paying jobs disappearing from California and the Los Angeles region,” said Bocanegra, the author of the state’s current film tax credit program. “AB 1664 is a good step towards rebuilding and growing our middle-class workforce, especially in communities that are under-represented and overlooked.”

“These job-training programs help train our youth and ease them in their transition into employment in the entertainment industry,” said Thom Davis, 2nd international VP of IATSE. “The Film Tax Credit has increased union membership, and it is vital that members have the proper training on the movie set.” IATSE currently runs job-training programs for students at West Los Angeles Community College.

“While maintaining and increasing film production in California is critical to our economy, we must provide the next generation with the tools that they need to take on these good paying, middle-class jobs in the entertainment industry,” Calderon said. “AB 1664 will provide much needed opportunities for our youth to access job training and development programs, and ultimately become part of a thriving middle class.”