At a reception marking the 10-year anniversary of the publishing certificate program at the City College of New York earlier this month, program director David Unger thanked the New York publishing industry for its renewed funding and support for internships, and noted the program's continued ability to place PCP graduates in publishing jobs.

Founded in 1997 by the novelist Walter Mosley, the PCP program is an effort to attract and train minority students to work in the book publishing industry. Unger said the program has entered a period of "long-term stability" after some problems with funding and soft industry support several years ago. Unger noted that Penguin USA, John Wiley Inc. and Random House have returned, providing substantial multiyear financial commitments to the program. Publishing donors also include Hachette USA, W.W. Norton and HarperCollins. Grant support is also provided by the Association of American Publishers and BookExpo America, which pays for two volunteers to travel to BEA (and uses 30 or more student-volunteers when BEA is in New York). There has also been "marked improvement" in publisher support for paid internships for PCP students, a requirement for students to earn the publishing certificate.

The PCP program operates on an $85,000 annual budget and the industry has provided more than $750,000 to the program over 10 years. Since the program launched, 750 City College students have taken at least one PCP course. Over that time, 123 students have taken the five courses required to receive the PCP certificate and 63 are working in publishing or related jobs—including alum Winfrida Mbewe, now publicity manager at Norton.

PCP faculty members include Tanya McKinnon of the Mary Evans Literary Agency and Linda Healy from S&S. To keep up with changes in the industry, the program has hired HarperCollins's Vivian Gomez to teach copyediting in Spanish, and, in the fall, Peggy Garry of John Wiley will teach a class on legal issues in publishing.

"We want working-class students from the public schools, and many of them just have no idea of the importance of book publishing in New York," Unger said. The program also attracts honors students at City College as well as some graduate students. "Our funders are setting aside internships and want a first look at our students," said Unger. "HR departments have become advocates for us when they have a full-time position to fill." Unger said he has had "discussions" with Medgar Evers College about starting its own publishing certificate program.

Such publishing notables as Kassahun Checole, publisher of Africa World Press; Judith Curr, publisher of S&S/Atria; and Norton publisher Drake McFeely attended the anniversary reception. Unger had the highest praise for PCP founder Walter Mosley and former City College president Yolanda Moses, both formerly on the board of the National Book Foundation. "Both of them leveraged their reputations and urged NBF board members to get behind the program," said Unger. "But Walter is unique in what he has done to change the face of the industry. PCP wouldn't exist without Walter Mosley. He's made himself available to us whenever we need him. This is his baby."