Metallica gives Grand Rapids Community College third grant to train students in welding

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Grand Rapids Community College has received a third scholarship from the band Metallica for their Heavy Metal welding program.

The college is receiving a $ 25,000 scholarship to continue its Metallica scholarship program designed to help nontraditional students gain professional skills and hands-on welding experience, according to a GRCC press release.

GRCC is one of 23 colleges in the country – and the only one in Michigan – that has received scholarships from Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation.

“This is a great opportunity for individuals in our community to gain sought-after skills and great jobs,” said Julie Parks, interim dean of the School of Workforce Development, in a prepared statement.

“The Metallica Scholarship Program is a great example of how philanthropy, educators and employers can come together to fill much-needed jobs and provide meaningful employment opportunities as our region recovers from the pandemic.”

In 2018, GRCC was one of 10 colleges across the country to receive the first Metallica Scholars scholarship. College was tapped again by the heavy metal band in 2019 for a $ 50,000 scholarship.

RELATED: GRCC completes first ever Metallica Fellows in its welding program

Band co-founder James Hetfield met with GRCC President Bill Pink after appearing at Grand Rapids in 2019 and said the members are eager to spread the word about the professional world and community colleges, the press release said.

Hetfield said the band was directly involved as a “touring unit” in several key career decisions. He said the band’s success would not be possible without these jobs.

“From electrics, professional driving, culinary, mechanical maintenance, public safety, logistic organizers. And that just scratches the surface, ”Hetfield said in a prepared statement. “These, along with a host of other technical careers, make our tours and appearances possible. We are connected to these craftsmen and craftsmen with passion and gratitude. “

The program aims to promote manual skills as meaningful and well-paying career paths. The college works with local employers so that students can take part in factory tours, appraisal appraisals, and mentoring so they can determine if welding is right for their career goals.

“That Metallica and its foundation continue to invest in GRCC speaks volumes for the band’s commitment to teaching professional craftsmanship, but also for the success of our Metallica Scholars program and the life that has been changed,” said Pink in a prepared statement. “We are proud to continue this partnership and provide additional opportunities for the residents of West Michigan with this support.”

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for welders in 2020 was $ 21.25 an hour, or $ 44,190 per year.

The education costs only $ 50 for students, the rest is covered by the scholarship.

Students wishing to apply for the Metallica scholarship program can call 616-234-3800 for more information, according to the GRCC website.

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