Metallica and their charitable organization, the All Within My Hands Foundation, have expanded their Metallica Scholars Initiative, which provides funding to community colleges for enhancing career and technical education programs.

The band launched the initiative in 2019 with support for 10 community colleges around the United States; it expanded the number of schools to 15 last year and in 2021 will offer support to 23 community colleges. The band’s foundation will invest $1.6 million, with a contribution coming from Wolverine Boots and Apparel, in the initiative.

“It has been amazing to see this program continue to grow and thrive,” Metallica frontman James Hetfield said in a statement. “I get so grateful hearing from those who benefit from our grant. Hearing their story of doubt to direction. From those who are able to pursue additional education leading directly to meaningful employment. It gave us confidence that we are doing the right thing and inspired us to do even more. We are very proud and excited to work with additional schools encouraging even more Metallica Scholars to pursue a profession in the skilled trades.”

The group has seen positive results from the initiative through reports from the colleges. Last year, despite the challenges the pandemic presented with lockdowns, the schools modified their courses to teach students skills they need based on local demands. The band’s money benefited more than 1,000 students around the country at the 15 colleges that participated in the program last year.

Charlotte’s Central Piedmont Community College reported that 97.6% of its Metallica Scholars who were scheduled to graduate in the spring or summer of last year did so. “Students across 10 different academic health programs were supported by Metallica Scholars funds,” the school said in a statement. “Certification exam pass rates and employment rates of those who were eligible exceeded 90%.”

Emma-Lynn Ponds, a welding student at Orlando’s Valencia College who benefited from the scholarship, said, “The whole reason I’m doing this is because I wanna be the first in my family to break the cycle of poverty.”

“[The American Association of Community Colleges] is honored to manage the All Within My Hands’ Metallica Scholars Initiative,” Jennifer Worth, Senior Vice President of Workforce and Economic Development at the AACC, said. “As we engage more communities, we have the opportunity to connect with more industry partners, each of which affirms that high-quality, skilled trade jobs are available, and community colleges are the premier places to train and amass talent. We will not stop doing this work until that recognition is as awesomely global as the band’s trust in us, our colleges, and the students with whom we work.”

In related news, Metallica raised funds for its Foundation this week with a fresh, one-off installment of its Metallica Mondays streaming concert series. This week’s concert, which is still viewable, was filmed in Lincoln, Nebraska, on September 6th, 2018. “This year, all proceeds raised will benefit our longtime partners at Feeding America and Direct Relief,” drummer Lars Ulrich said in the intro to the concert. “This special Metallica Mondays is part of a month of activities with many ways that you can give back in addition to the opportunity to donate while you’re watching this video.”

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