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Metallica awards GRCC $25,000 towards underserved, non-traditional students

The legendary heavy metal band made a third round of donations to GRCC to support their welding students.
Credit: Grand Rapids Community College
James Hetfield was given a GRCC welding themed guitar Wednesday. GRCC was granted $100,000 from the Metallica Scholars fund to help grow the school's welding program.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Legendary heavy metal band Metallica, in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges, has awarded their third round of grants to the Grand Rapids Community College to support students studying in-demand fields like welding, the college announced Friday.

The grants will award $25,000 towards the GRCC Workforce Training, a program aimed at giving career skills and hands-on experience to underserved students.

The band’s “All Within My Hands” program aims to support students in non-traditional fields and guide them to rewarding careers. GRCC is just one of 23 colleges across the nation supported by Metallica. GRCC is their only awardee in Michigan.

GRCC became a recipient of the program in 2018, then again in 2020.

Metallica’s co-founder James Hetfield met the college’s president, Bill Pink, after a performance in Grand Rapids in 2019. They discussed the band’s mission: highlighting the importance of 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,” said Pink.

“We’re proud to continue this partnership and provide additional opportunities for West Michigan residents with this support.”

GRCC’s welding students get the chance to visit work sites, hear employee panels and have a mentor in the field. Each student takes part in a career-preparation program at the college to ensure they’re career-ready upon completion of their welding license. Metallica’s funds will continue to support these endeavors.

“As a touring entity we are in direct involvement with multiple essential career choices along our path,” Hetfield said.

“From electrical, professional driving, culinary, mechanical maintenance, public safety, logistical organizers. And that just scratches the surface. Those, along with a multitude of other technical careers, make our touring and our performances possible. We are passionate and grateful to these trades and tradespeople.”

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