Metallica band continues supporting Clark State students seeking technical careers
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Metallica band continues supporting Clark State students seeking technical careers

Aug 23, 2023

Clark State College continues to be a recipient of an initiative created by the band Metallica to help students in the workforce.

The Metallica Scholars Initiative was launched in 2019 by Metallica’s foundation, All Within My Hands (AWMH), in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges. AWMH was established in 2017 to invest in people and places that have supported the band, and allows fans to engage in philanthropy and volunteerism.

“The Metallica Scholars Initiative is so important to us because we are seeing results. Five years in, with the help of community colleges across the country, we are helping people fill these essential jobs which require skills and training,” said Lars Ulrich, drummer for Metallica.

This initiative is in its fifth year with an expansion into new curricula. It supports 42 community colleges across 33 states, and will have helped more than 6,000 students who by the end of this year. To date, Metallica and AWMH have invested over $6 million in the workforce.

“The Metallica Scholars Initiative is a strong and cooperative assemblage of the nation’s best community colleges, creating a supportive climate for participants to communicate directly and share best practices,” said Peter Delgrosso, AWMH executive director. “As a result, our Metallica Scholars leave the program well-trained and confident. Ultimately, the impact is felt locally and nationally as Metallica Scholars enter the workforce and fill in-demand technical positions.”

Clark State was one of the first, and is the only, recipient of the funds in Ohio.

“We are excited to be ... able to continue over the next year with additional funding that will allow students to pursue hands-on career,” said Kierre Brown, Assistant Dean of the School of Business and Applied Technologies. “This program is one of those opportunities that generates excitement within the institution and in our community.”

The college received $100,000 the first year, $50,000 the second year, and continues to “step-down” over the next couple of years. The scholarship has helped 35 students.

“The intent is for institutions to match these funds over time to assist with creating pathways towards hands-on technical careers,” Brown said.

At the college, the MSI funds welding short-term technical certificate and, newly added this year, two of the laser material processing one-year technical certificates, laser machining and laser maintenance.

MSI began with 10 colleges and mostly manufacturing programs, but has expanded into more offerings of workforce opportunities for students.

“We’ve heard from prior participants that this scholarship has been very important for them to achieve their goals and even go into an unexpected career field,” said Adam Parrillo, Dean of School of Business and Applied Technologies. “This affects more than just the scholars as many of them brought their families to our recent Engineering Summer Fest who also expressed how important this is to them.”

Brown said they do not have direct interaction with band, but are “assured” that the student testimonials are reviewed by Metallica, and they also have a standing invitation to attend Metallica events.

To apply to be a Metallica scholar, Brown said, “Anyone who wants to get into a hand-on technical career such as laser martial processing, the band believes, and we find this to be true, that people with artistic ability are well suited for hands-on careers.”

AWMH is dedicated to creating sustainable communities through workforce education, the fight against hunger and other critical local services. 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.

About the Author

Brooke Spurlock covers education, crime and more in Clark and Champaign counties as a reporter for the Springfield News-Sun. She has been a writer for over five years, which includes her previous work as a breaking news desk investigator. Spurlock has her bachelor's in mass communications with a minor in psychology and her associates in paralegal.