Courtesy re:imagine/ATL

re:imagine/ATL has launched the EMERGE: Apprenticeship Program, a workforce development program for youth ages 18-24. During this program, 14 students will participate in a paid nine-month training program that will prepare them for a full-time career in Georgia’s multi-billion creative media industry.

“The global pandemic has changed the way youth think about their education, and fewer students are choosing to attend a traditional college,” said Kimberlin Bolton, Executive Director of re:imagine/ATL. “We are ensuring that students have access to alternative pathways that will still provide secure sustainable employment opportunities in a growing field.”

re:imagine/ATL is partnering with the Arthur M. Blank Foundation, Arts2Work, Atlanta CareerRise, and Reel Works to provide technical career training and soft skills development for students who are not enrolled in school and are unemployed or underemployed. Apprentices will earn a certificate in Media Production, federally recognized by the Department of Labor, and will earn certifications across the Adobe Creative Cloud, build their reel with client-based media projects, and develop relationships with potential employers who are committed to their ongoing mentorship. Through our partnership with Reel Works, a Brooklyn-based arts education organization, apprentices will earn digital credentials to showcase their technical and employability skills.

“Arts2Work is thrilled to partner with re:imagine/ATL to build the first national workforce model for media arts and creative tech careers,” said Wendy Levy, Executive Director of The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture and creator of Arts2Work. “their visionary work in Atlanta is a key part of the Arts2Work ecosystem, building and sustaining creative careers for diverse and talented media makers.”

re:imagine/ATL consulted with Georgia’s leading creative media employers and aligned the EMERGE curriculum with the expected needs of local production companies and creative agencies. Upon completing the program, apprentices will be prepared for full-time employment opportunities.

“At WarnerMedia, we believe diversity, equity and inclusion are key to innovation, creativity, and representative storytelling,” said Sydney Langdon, WarnerMedia’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility. “We believe in building pipelines to give voice to creators in front of the cameras as well as behind them. It is our responsibility as corporate citizens to address inequities head-on with compassion, urgency, and specificity and co-create a more inclusive industry.”

EMERGE Apprentice positions are reserved for students who may not otherwise be exposed to the technical training necessary to compete in the creative industry. In response to the recent racial injustice felt throughout America, select members of Atlanta’s creative industry pledged to create a more inclusive environment to reflect the diversity in the city of Atlanta with the recent signing of The A Pledge. Similarly, the EMERGE program ensures that each cohort is representative and inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender, and people with disabilities. Graduates from the program will be equipped for the projected millions of jobs requiring advanced digital skills in the public and private sectors, which will transform Georgia’s employment landscape and change the trajectory of their lives.

For more information on the program, visit reimagineatl.com/emerge.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.