Workforce Wednesday: Metallica Scholar Marisa Kiliszewski discovers a career in welding she hopes to do ‘forever’

Marisa Kiliszewski welding.

Marisa Kiliszewski graduated from high school in 2020, right at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was a difficult time to try to figure out what I wanted to do with my future. I didn’t love school, so I got a job and hated it,” she said.

GRCC Workforce Training programs provide in-demand skills leading to rewarding careers. We are introducing students who are heading down an educational pathway and changing their lives by earning occupational certificates.

“My dad told me about the Metallica welding program a few years ago, so when I saw that there was a new session coming up, I signed up right away,” Kiliszewski said.

The GRCC Metallica Scholars Welding Bootcamp offers individuals the opportunity to gain skills for entry level welding positions.  It is a short-term program to get welders work in West Michigan, with the goal of helping these individuals grow into apprenticeships or other learning opportunities within the welding field.

The program is a partnership with GRCC, the legendary band Metallica, it’s All Within My Hands foundation, and the American Association of Community Colleges.

“This have been a great experience for me,” Kiliszewski said. “I feel pretty fortunate to have gotten in right away. I always thought the trades were cool because that is what my dad does but I didn’t really think that I would go into one. Now that I’m in it, I love it, it’s great!”

The program goal is to build an accessible pathway into the field of welding with a focus on producing ready-to-work welders for Kent County companies. This program works to attract, retain, and graduate individuals of different genders and racial/ethnic backgrounds to welding careers.

“The education and training part are not as bad as I thought it would be, in fact, it’s pretty good!” she said. “The instructors, Nick Pinkney and Brittany Todd, were really great. I came into the program knowing literally nothing about welding. I didn’t even know that there are different types of welding.

“The best part about welding is that it is fun! I get to do things with my hands. I can just go off into my own little world and burn wire.”

Kiliszewski is now excited for her future and is already interviewing for welding jobs.

“I’m looking to get into a job where I can get some time under the hood and keep working on my craft. I plan to join the pipefitters union, because that is really what I hope to do forever. I will probably come to GRCC for more classes. The instructors are super cool.”

Kiliszewski is hoping to work for a company that will offer an apprenticeship or cover the cost of more training and education.

“I’ve listened to Metallica my whole life and I’ve even seen them in concert! If I could say anything to Metallica, I would say, ‘You guys rock! This program is awesome. I’m so glad you are doing this! Thanks!’”

To qualify for the program, participants must be 18 years of age, have a high school diploma/GED, and be able to work in the United States. For more information go to

The New MyGRCC is live

The new and improved MyGRCC portal is now live!

Plan on taking a few extra minutes when you first login to set up your security questions. If you are in a time crunch, you can skip a few steps. We do, however, strongly encourage taking a few moments to configure the account. Doing so will allow you to use the Forgot Password and other features in the future.

A few things you’ll need to know:

  • If you receive the message “Can’t Authenticate” when logging in, you will need to call the Support Desk to have your account enabled.
  • An account will be locked after 5 unsuccessful attempts at sign in. This account lock is for 60 minutes. You can, however, call the Support Desk to have it immediately unlocked. 
  • To avoid getting locked out of any PeopleSoft applications, it is important to sign-out of one application before using another. Alternatively, if you require using two PeopleSoft applications at the same time, such as CSProd and the Online Center, consider using two different browsers for each. Should you have login issues, please contact the Support Desk for assistance.   

For a quick tutorial, please watch this helpful video that will take you through the initial login.

If you have any questions please call the IT Support Desk at 234-4357 or check out the Customer support portal at

Single Sign On Authentication

GRCC In the News 03/02/2022

GRCC offers scholarships to students to help remove cost as an obstacle to higher education

3/1/22 eightWest

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Scholarships can change lives by removing cost as an obstacle to higher education. Grand Rapids Community College has $1.4 million in scholarships to award to students.

GRCC drops mask requirement as COVID cases plummet

3/1/22 FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) is dropping its mask mandate for students, staff and community members.

GRCC makes face coverings optional for students, employees

3/1/22 WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) announced Tuesday that the school will be dropping their mask mandate for students, employees and community members.

Grand Rapids Community College no longer requiring masks on campus

3/1/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Face coverings are no longer required indoors on Grand Rapids Community College’s campus.