It’s “Sad But True” that the lack of new qualified technicians is holding back the custom electronics industry from growing. And for many integration companies, “Nothing Else Matters” than finding more skilled technicians. And the next generation of technicians might be coming from the unlikeliest of all sources: heavy metal legends Metallica.
In December 2018, Metallica announced a $1 million donation via its “All Within My Hands” (AWMH) non-profit foundation for a workforce education initiative that provides direct support to community colleges to enhance their career and technical education programs.
The band has chosen 10 community colleges from across the nation and donated $100,000 to each, hoping to train 1,000 students in technical trades. Those graduating students will be the first group of “Metallica Scholars.”
Partnering with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), a Washington, D.C.-based organization that represents the nation’s 1,103 community colleges, the Metallica Scholars awards are selected via a competitive application process and are designed to provide support of relevant job skill training for community college students, reinvest in communities that supported Metallica during its recent United States tours, and leverage the influence of Metallica to elevate the importance of career and technical education.
Metallica All Within My Hands Foundation
“The All Within My Hands Foundation and Metallica are proud to announce this major new initiative,” says Dr. Edward Frank, executive director of AWMH. “While the foundation continues our support for the fight against hunger and emergency community aid, we are now expanding our mission to include support for career and technical education.
“The goal of our Metallica Scholars Initiative is to improve career opportunities for community college students in the trades. Equally, we hope to raise the awareness of the tremendous importance, value and impact of the education provided by our nation’s community college system. The foundation and the band are thrilled by the quality of proposals we received from these colleges, and are excited to do our part to help educate students so that they have the skills and training necessary to find meaningful and well-paying jobs in their communities.”
AWMH will work closely with AACC to implement and manage the program. “We welcome Metallica as a partner in the career and technical education work of the nation’s community colleges,” says Walter G. Bumphus. Ph.D., AACC’s president and CEO.
“Colleges across the country provide pathways to well-paying jobs through programs, services and training that lead to in-demand skills, certificates and degrees for students. These programs are responsive to the needs of local businesses and provide a pipeline of qualified workers to local industry. It’s a win-win for our students and the local economy.
“For Metallica to see the benefit of these programs and invest in the communities that have supported them is a testament to the power of education and we are proud to do this work with them,” Bumphus says.
In addressing why the foundation chose workforce education as part of its mission, Lars Ulrich, Metallica’s drummer and co-founder said, “All of us in the band feel fortunate that music has provided us the opportunity to be successful doing something we are passionate about. We want to share our success with others so that they can find a job where they can do the same.”
The recipient colleges are all AACC members and based in and around stops on Metallica’s 2017-2019 WorldWired Tour. The 10 sites are:
- Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, North Carolina
- Clackamas Community College, Oregon City, Oregon
- College of Lake County, Grayslake, Illinois
- Community College of Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland
- Gateway Technical College, Kenosha, Wisconsin
- Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Lone Star College, The Woodlands, Texas
- North Idaho College, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
- Spokane Community College, Spokane, Washington
- Wichita State University Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology, Wichita, Kansas
At least one of the schools, Gateway Technical College, has already announced the funds will be used specifically for its electronics training program.
The AWMH Foundation was established in 2017 by Metallica as a means to invest in the people and places that have supported the band. It also provides a mechanism for Metallica’s fans to become engaged in philanthropy and volunteerism.
The foundation is focused on supporting sustainable communities through workforce education (in addition to combatting hunger through an alliance with Feeding America), and is fully supported by the band, the AWMH board, and by fans.
All expenses of the foundation are covered by the band, the board, and a few special friends so that 100% of donations go to the organizations it supports. AWMH is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.