Victor Valley College Awarded $100,000 for New Metallica Scholars Initiative

By Staff Reports

(Victorville) – Victor Valley 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. 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 continue 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. Victor Valley College intends to prioritize at risk community members looking for short term training to a more stable economic future including, job seekers, unemployed, homeless youth, aged-out foster youth, and formerly incarcerated individuals. Metallica Scholars will be showcased to promote varying skilled trade pathways, as a means, to economic development.

As the non-profit arm of Victor Valley College, the VVC Foundation assisted in securing the grant to help ensure that vital training programs such as the ones provided through VVC’s CTE training equip local residents to attain demand-driven workforce readiness skills leading to safer communities and economic revitalization.

“VVC focuses on providing a variety of Career Education opportunities to students, this grant will allow us to launch a new pathway focused on creating a pipeline from education to  certification to employment, for local industry.  Through the Logistics and Distribution Training Pathway students will have access to forklift training, OSHA safety certifications, and a Commercial Driver’s License program, all skill sets that will prepare students for high wage, high skill, in demand local careers.” Dr. Todd Scott, VVC Vice President of Instruction.

“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

Those interested in learning more about the Metallica Scholars Initiative at Victor Valley College may contact: Frank.castanos@vvc.edu, (760) 245-4271 ext. 2152ABOUT THE VVCCD, VVCDF, AWMH and AACC:

The Victor Valley Community College District (VVCCD) is one of 72 community college districts within the California Community College system, the largest educational system in the world, which encompasses 116 community colleges. The VVCCD has for 60 years provided its communities and students with quality and affordable career training, certificates, associate’s degrees, and preparation for transfer to four-year colleges or universities through Victor Valley College (VVC.  For additional information on the VVCCD, please contact Robert A. Sewell, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at 760-245-4271, Ext. 2395 or by email at robert.sewell@vvc.edu.

The Victor Valley College District Foundation is a charitable organization that makes friends and raises funds to help Victor Valley College better serve its students and community. For over 40 years, the Foundation has served as the alumni relations, community outreach and resource development partner of VVC. Visit www.vvcfoundation.com for more information.

All Within My Hands (AWMH) was established in 2017 by Metallica as a means to invest in the people and places that have supported the band. It also provides a mechanism for Metallica’s fans to become engaged in philanthropy and volunteerism. The Foundation is focused on supporting sustainable communities through workforce education, the fight against hunger, and other critical local services, and is fully supported by the band, the AWMH board, and by fans. All expenses of the Foundation are covered by the band, the board, and a few special friends, so that 100% of donations go to the organizations it supports. AWMH is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. For more information, please visit www.allwithinmyhands.org.

As the voice of the nation’s community colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), delivers educational and economic opportunity for nearly 12 million diverse students in search of the American Dream. Uniquely dedicated to access and success for all students, AACC’s 1,040 member colleges provide an on-ramp to degree attainment, skilled careers and family-supporting wages. Located in Washington, D.C., AACC advocates for these not-for-profit, public-serving institutions to ensure they have the resources and support they need to deliver on the mission of increasing economic mobility for all. 

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