NEW YORK CITY — The city will expand its $100,000 commitment to VFX Training Institute to help it help more studios hire more people and hire more staff, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday.
The new funding, which will be targeted to companies that hire up to 50 workers per month, comes a day after The New York Times reported that more than 300 VFX professionals were leaving the industry.
In an attempt to address the shortage, de Blasio has directed the city to set up a new office dedicated to hiring and retaining VFX artists.
The City Council voted unanimously to authorize $60 million in funding for the new VFX-focused training center last month.
Last month, the City Council also approved $2 million to expand the VFX Talent Academy, which has been operating since March.
The training institute has been struggling to find enough skilled employees to fill its current number of full-time positions, which were set at 35 in October.
De Blasio has pledged to hire 100 more VFX technicians in the next few months.
He has also asked the state legislature to provide $5 million to help with hiring.
“The City of New York is the place to be for a new Vfx company, and this new $100 million investment is an important step in helping VFX companies find more qualified people to take their business to the next level,” said de Blasio, a Democrat.
“I have long advocated for the creation of a VFX talent academy, and I know this investment will help these talented professionals stay in the industry.”
De Blasio’s administration has been working to hire more Vfx artists, including hiring two VFX directors.
The city’s hiring office is recruiting new VFS staff through its job search site and through a job fair at New York Fashion Week.
The department also is working to increase the number of VFX supervisors at the City Department of Parks and Recreation.
DeBlasio said in a statement that the city would continue to invest in the VFS to make sure it has a strong and competitive talent pool.
The mayor also said he is looking forward to working with the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, which oversees the VFA.