Metallica frontman James Hetfield met with Grand Rapids Community College president Bill Pink on Wednesday (March 13th), ahead of the band's show in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Hetfield and Pink discussed skilled labor and job creation, following Metallica's recent grant of $100,000 to the college to provide more opportunities for non-traditional students to get welding skills that could lead to jobs in the future.
Pink told local TV outlet WZZM13.com, “Hetfield expressed a desire to see the funding from the band going toward programs that help people get skills they need to get good jobs. He was very focused on the idea of helping people.”
GRCC leaders presented Hetfield with gifts, including a decorative steel guitar crafted by welding professors. GRCC was one of 10 colleges selected nationwide for the “Metallica Scholars” grant. The band's All Within My Hands Foundation teamed up with the American Association of Community Colleges on the project, aimed at providing workforce training for community college students.
In this instance, GRCC will use the funding to launch an intensive welding program targeted toward non-traditional students that takes less time to complete than traditional courses. It will also feature smaller class sizes with flexible scheduling options and career preparation assistance, as well as partnerships with local employers to help students determine their career goals.