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[Winter Haven, Florida] [August 19, 2021] — Polk State College 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 Metallica who continues to speak out on the dignity of professional trades and community colleges that prepare students.

The Metallica Scholars Initiative is now in its third year and has fundamentally improved the earning potential for students who become Metallica Scholars. Polk State College continues to prioritize careers in Computer Numeric Control (CNC) Machining through the Metallica Scholars program. Metallica Scholars will be showcased to promote varying skilled trade pathways as a means to economic development.

“Polk State College is proud to continue its partnership with Metallica’s AWMH and the AACC to provide quality CNC machining training at no cost to students to fulfill local workforce needs,” Polk State President Dr. Angela Garcia Falconetti said. “This will build upon the work and success of the College’s Metallica Scholars initiative that was established by a $100,000 grant from AWMH in 2020. We are proud of our first cohorts of Metallica Scholars and we are thrilled to offer this life-transforming opportunity to more students.”

Students who are interested in CNC machining training and available grant funds through AWMH should visit www.polk.edu/metallica and can contact Coordinator Jamie Rowan at jrowan@polk.edu or 863.837.5954.

“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.”

The MSI sites to date are:

Northwest-Shoals Community College, Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Pima County Community College, Tucson, Arizona
Hartnell College, Salinas, California
Victor Valley College, Victorville, California
Polk State College, Winter Haven, Florida
Valencia College, Orlando, Florida
North Idaho College, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Clinton Community College, Clinton, Iowa
College of Lake County, Grayslake, Illinois
Wichita State University Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology, Wichita, Kansas
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, Elizabethtown, Kentucky
Community College of Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland
Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Central Community College, Grand Island, Nebraska
Westchester Community College, Valhalla, New York
Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, North Carolina
Clackamas Community College, Oregon City, Oregon
Columbia Gorge Community College, The Dalles, Oregon
Lone Star College, The Woodlands, Texas
Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale, Virginia
Spokane Community College, Spokane, Washington
Gateway Technical College, Kenosha, Wisconsin
West Virginia University Parkersburg, Parkersburg, West Virginia

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