Heavy metal band Metallica’s foundation, All Within My Hands, continues its multimillion-dollar investment in critical workforce programs at community colleges nationwide, including Valencia College, that has been invited to return for a fourth year and will continue to receive Metallica Scholars funding to enhance career and technical education programs.

Altogether, Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation has provided $185,000 in scholarships to students in Valencia’s short-term training programs – providing adults the chance to become welders, truck drivers, heavy equipment operators and industrial automation technicians.

The Metallica Scholars Initiative (MSI) was launched in 2019 by Metallica’s foundation, All Within My Hands (AWMH), in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). The workforce initiative marks its fifth year with an ambitious expansion into new curricula. MSI now directly supports 42 community colleges across 33 states, and by the end of this year, it will have helped over 6,000 students pursuing careers in the trades. To date, Metallica and AWMH have invested over $6 million in the American workforce.

“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. We are so proud and grateful that we can facilitate this program,” said Lars Ulrich, the drummer and co-founder of Metallica.

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to partner for another year with Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation,” said Valencia College President Kathleen Plinske. “The Metallica Scholars Initiative highlights career pathways in the trades and provides funding for student scholarships for Valencia College’s Accelerated Skills Training, allowing Central Florida residents to prepare for high-wage jobs that are in high demand.”

Reaffirming a commitment to career and technical education at the local level, each new school brings incredible opportunities to a thriving and growing community.

“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. 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,” said Peter Delgrosso, AWMH Executive Director.

At Valencia College, the support from All Within My Hands has been instrumental in supporting the college’s belief that short-term job training can change lives.

“The Metallica Scholars Initiative program has provided invaluable tuition support for our Accelerated Skills Training students who otherwise would not have been able to enroll in our programs,” said Carolyn McMorran, assistant vice president of professional continuing education at Valencia College.  “But we are especially grateful for the support that Metallica gives to community colleges, helping us spread the message about the value and dignity of trade careers. That support is priceless.”

For the AACC, which represents the nation’s community colleges, the support from Metallica has been invaluable.

“We are happy to continue to partner with Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation to support the vital career and technical education work of the nation’s community colleges,” said Walter G. Bumphus, 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. Partners like Metallica that continue to provide support for community colleges help us to showcase the importance of investing in the transformative power of community college education.”

The 11 schools joining MSI this year include:

  • Aiken Technical College – Aiken, S.C.
  • Central Wyoming College – Riverton, Wyo.
  • Columbia State Community College – Columbia, Tenn.
  • Front Range Community College – Westminster, Colo.
  • Itawamba Community College – Fulton, Miss.
  • Northeast Wisconsin Technical College – Green Bay, Wisc.
  • Oxnard College (Ventura County Community College District) – Oxnard, Calif.
  • South Central College – North Mankato, Minn.
  • South Louisiana Community College – Lafayette, La.
  • Texas State Technical College – Waco, Tex.
  • Western Dakota Technical College – Rapid City, S.D.

What began with ten colleges and mostly manufacturing programs has developed into a diverse offering of workforce opportunities for students interested in gaining the skills and training necessary to find meaningful and well-paying careers in fields and positions including:

  • Agriculture
  • Automation and Robotics
  • Automotive Technology
  • Aviation, Computer-Aided Drafting & Design
  • Carpentry
  • Computerized Manufacturing (CNC)
  • Construction Technology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Culinary Arts
  • Cybersecurity
  • Diesel Technology
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Electrical Engineering
  • EMT
  • Fire Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Heating & Ventilation (HVAC)
  • Heavy Equipment Operator
  • Hospitality
  • Industrial Maintenance Technology
  • Lineworker
  • Manufacturing & Machining
  • Mechanical Design
  • Mechatronics Engineering
  • Process Technology
  • Trucking (CDL)
  • Welding
  • Wind EnergyValenc

By Linda Shrieves
Valencia College