Westchester Community College Awarded $50,000 for New Metallica Scholars Initiative

Metalica (Photo from WCC)

Westchester Community College (WCC) was selected from a competitive field of community colleges across the country to receive $50,000 to transform the future of students in the community. Funded by Metallica’s All Within My Hands (AWMH) and led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Metallica Scholars Initiative was designed to directly support students while also elevating the importance of career and technical education. This work is highlighted at a global level by leveraging the influence of the rock band Metallica who continue to speak out on the dignity of professional trades and community colleges that prepare students. This is WCC’s second grant from the program, which last year helped over 250 students to receive training and professional certifications, increasing their employability.

The Metallica Scholars Initiative is now in its third year and has fundamentally improved the earning potential for students who become Metallica Scholars. WCC and Metallica will continue to “Rock the Workforce” by focusing this year’s grant on training skilled workers for Westchester’s growing advanced manufacturing industry.  WCC will prioritize non-traditional students who are looking to re-enter or upskill in the workforce in Advanced Manufacturing fields. At least twenty-four Metallica Scholars will receive curriculum and certifications to qualify for MSSC (Manufacturing Skill Standards Council) certifications or NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills) certifications, leading to employment in middle skill positions.  They will be showcased to promote varying skilled trade pathways as a means to economic development.

“By awarding me the Metallica Scholarship, you have lightened my financial burden which permits me to focus more on the most important aspect of college – education,” said WCC student Emma Tollinchi. “Your generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to the community. Thank you for believing in me, Metallica Scholars.”

“WCC is proud to partner again with Metallica’s All Within My Hands to develop a new generation of trained middle skills employees,” said Dr. Belinda Miles, President at Westchester Community College. “Companies look to WCC to train the advanced manufacturing workforce that helps drive our region’s economic engine. This generous grant will help us reach dozens of students who might otherwise never have recognized or reached their full potential.”

“The foundation and the band pay attention and follow these programs and students, and there is no doubt that lives have been changed. What makes this work so unique is that in addition to supporting students directly, our goal is not just to change individual lives, it is to unabashedly promote the trades as meaningful and well-paying career pathways. We are not afraid to be loud nor to dig in on things we believe in, and we believe in these students,” said Dr. Edward Frank, executive director of AWMH.

“We are proud to work with Metallica to advance the career and technical education provided by 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.  It’s a win-win for our students and the local economy. For Metallica to continue to invest in these students and communities is a testament to the power of the workforce education community colleges provide and we are proud to do this work with them.”

James Hetfield, Metallica’s vocalist/guitarist and co-founder said, “As a touring entity we are in direct involvement with multiple essential career choices along our path. From electrical, professional driving, culinary, mechanical maintenance, public safety, logistical organizers. And that just scratches the surface. Those, along with a multitude of other technical careers, make our touring and our performances possible. We are passionate and grateful to these trades and tradespeople.”

For more information on WCC’s 2021-22 Metallica Scholars Initiative, please visit: https://www.sunywcc.edu/about/foundation/fund-for-wcc/metallica-and-wcc-rock-the-workforce/

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