Heavy Metal: Legendary band Metallica awards third grant to GRCC to change lives through in-demand welding skills

A third grant from Metallica’s All Within My Hands will allow Grand Rapids Community College to help more non-traditional students gain in-demand welding skills leading to rewarding careers. 

GRCC is one of 23 colleges in the nation — and the only one in Michigan — to have received the grants, which are funded by the legendary band in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges.

The Metallica Scholars program was designed to support students while also elevating the importance of career and technical education. Band co-founder James Hetfield met with GRCC President Bill Pink after a 2019 Grand Rapids performance and said members are intent on spreading the word about the importance of the professional trades and community colleges.

“That Metallica and its foundation continues to invest in GRCC speaks volumes about the band’s dedication to providing professional trades skills, but also to the success of our Metallica Scholars program and the lives that have been changed,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “We’re proud to continue this partnership and provide additional opportunities for West Michigan residents with this support.”

The foundation awarded GRCC Workforce Training $25,000 to help continue a program aimed at underserved community members, giving them career skills as well as hands-on welding experience.

GRCC partners with local employers so students can participate in site visits, employee panels and mentoring to help them determine if welding is a good fit for their career goals. Each student participates in individualized career-preparation with GRCC to ensure they are job-ready upon completion of their welding license.

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