GRAND RAPIDS — Rock band Metallica continues to invest in a unique welding program that it was instrumental in launching at Grand Rapids Community College.
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The school announced today that it has received an additional $25,000 from the band and its All In My Hands Foundation. The grant money, provided in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges, will be used to continue a program that targets members of underserved communities around Grand Rapids, providing them with career skills and hands-on welding experience.
Through the program, students connect with area employers for site visits, employee panels and mentorship, among other educational opportunities.
“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 in a statement. “We’re proud to continue this partnership and provide additional opportunities for West Michigan residents with this support.”
The recent gift is the third grant Metallica has provided to GRCC for the program. In 2018, GRCC was named one of 10 United States colleges to receive funding from the foundation, including $100,000 that was pivotal in developing the program. The school, which was already equipped with one of the largest welding facilities in the Midwest, received a second round of funding in 2020.
“As a touring entity we are in direct involvement with multiple essential career choices along our path,” Metallica frontman James 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.”