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As Hollywood East booms, Perdue proposes $1M to train movie crew

READ MORE: As Hollywood East booms, Perdue proposes $1M to train movie crew
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The state's film incentive has caused a big problem for North Carolina, but it's a good one to have. We have so many productions underway, it's getting tough to find local crew members to work on set. Gov. Bev Perdue says $1 million could provide a solution.

Since Perdue signed an improved film incentive into law in 2010, 25 productions have taken advantage of it. Many of those have filmed in the state at the same time.

"We have a strong local crew, and it's deep," Screen Gems Studios Executive VP Bill Vassar said. "We can do five to six shows at a time without bringing people in from outside."

It's not deep enough. Our state has seen a 185-percent increase in movie and TV productions since 2010. We need more crew members, and we need them quickly. That's why the governor has included $1 million in her proposed budget to create a workforce training program at Cape Fear Community College and in Winston-Salem.

"Those courses will train North Carolinians for real jobs in the growing film and TV industry here, and they'll do it pretty quickly," Gov. Perdue said during a visit to Screen Gems Wednesday.

This five to 10-week training program would provide skills that individual productions need. The governor says that's something that would make North Carolina unique.

"It will be the only state in America that can promise them we will give them a tailored, trained workforce to do whatever it is unusual or necessary to make their production really successfully and to get it in the can on time," Gov. Perdue said.

The program isn't just for college students. Construction workers, plumbers and other sub-contractors who are out of work right now, would be able to take this course to hone their skills for set work. This program will train as many as 400 people for the jobs the film industry needs. Local film industry professionals will teach the program.

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