ECC Awarded $100,000 Through Metallica Scholars Initiative

ECC Awarded $100,000 Through Metallica Scholars Initiative

July 13, 2022 | ,

East Central College was selected from a competitive field of community colleges across the country to receive $100,000 to transform the future of students in the community.

Since establishing the Metallica Scholars Initiative in 2019, All Within My Hands (AWMH) has been working with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to provide direct support for career and technical education programs across the U.S.

Having grown from a concept to a thriving educational strategy that focuses on enhancing skills while providing services to students looking to enter a traditional trade or other applied learning program, the Metallica Scholars Initiative has generated a proven and measurable impact. AWMH will replicate the program further by adding ten more schools to the roster, investing $1.8 million to expand in year four.

“Our goal for the Metallica Scholars Initiative is to shine a light on workforce education and support the next generation of tradespeople. With the addition of the 2022-2023 Metallica Scholars program, our grants will reach over 2,000 men and women in 32 community colleges across 27 states. We are honored to support these students of all ages and backgrounds and look forward to growing the program even farther in the future,” said Pete Delgrosso, Executive Director, All Within My Hands.

Direct impact on job and wage growth drives the Metallica Scholars Initiative. On average, students who complete the program see new job opportunities and increased salary potential up to three times higher than pre-program.

East Central College will focus its efforts on awarding student scholarships in Advanced manufacturing programs, including Welding, HVAC, Precision Machining and Manufacturing.  The college’s goal is to elevate students’ skill sets by meeting industry standards and raising the level of academic programs offered.

ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer said the Metallica Scholars Initiative will provide clear paths to rewarding careers for students who stand ready to put in the “sweat equity” needed to move from under-skilled to highly skilled in an intense period of time, without the cost barrier.

“Metallica will demolish that barrier with the financial resources from the Scholars Initiative. With the path ahead cleared, participants will commit countless hours of intense, hands-on training and studying,” Bauer said.

Funded by Metallica’s All Within My Hands (AWMH) and led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Metallica Scholars Initiative is designed to directly support students while elevating the importance of career and technical education. Metallica continues to use its global platform to speak out on the dignity of professional trades and community colleges that prepare students.

Joel Doepker, vice president of external relations, believes the program can greatly help those currently working in the manufacturing industry.  “Many area manufacturers have current workers who need to enhance their work skills and this program is the way for them to do that.”

Working closely with the AACC, a Washington D.C.-based advocate for not-for-profit, public-serving institutions, AWMH has selected ten schools to receive $100,000 each to transform the future of students in their communities. The extensive proposal process received an incredible amount of interest, and the applications were of the highest quality. Each of the ten institutions chosen intends to prioritize students interested in the skilled trades as a pathway to economic development.

“The Metallica Scholars program has proven to provide significant resources for community college students looking to learn the skills needed for today’s workforce,” said Walter G. Bumphus, AACC’s president and CEO. “We are honored to partner with the All Within My Hands Foundation to continue to expand this opportunity for community colleges and their students.”

The ten schools are:

The newly added community colleges are joining an already established core of 22 schools that have been invited to continue as a Metallica Scholars school. Each year the returning colleges play an integral role in onboarding, to help the new schools hit the ground running.

The 32 colleges across the country are encouraged to use the AWMH grant as the local industry dictates in terms of program and training.

To learn more about the Metallica Scholars Initiative, please visit

Students interested in the program can visit  or email Kathy Luther or call 636.584.6571.