Jersey City’s own Hudson County Community College has been invited to partner once again with the Metallica Scholars Initiative. The Initiative will support the training of previously incarcerated people for careers in welding.

“Metallica has shown us the transformative power of music and education,” said HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber. “We are honored to reaffirm our partnership with the Metallica Foundation and AACC to continue empowering our community with the education and training for sustainable careers.”

The Metallica Scholars Initiative is the band’s multimillion-dollar investment in critical workforce programs at community colleges throughout the country. “The Metallica Scholars Initiative is so important to us because we are seeing results. Five years in, with the help of community colleges across the country, we are helping people fill these essential jobs which require skills and training. We are so proud and grateful that we can facilitate this program,” said Metallica’s Lars Ulrich.

HCCC received $100,000 from the Metallica Scholars Initiative in 2022 and $50,000 in 2023 to provide a pathway to welding careers for 21 previously incarcerated individuals. The HCCC program is offered in partnership with the New Jersey Reentry Corporation and the Governor’s Reentry Training and Employment Center in Kearny. The program is designed to close a labor gap: the American Welding Society estimates a shortage of 400,000 welding professionals by 2025. 

Graduates of the HCCC program said completing the welding training has given them a second chance. “In the past, I made a mistake that led to consequences that put a temporary stop to me becoming the man I always wanted to be,” said Anthony. “This new opportunity gives me a chance at redemption. I am the most focused I have ever been, 42 years old, and I have no room for error.”

In partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges, the Metallica Scholars Initiative now directly supports 42 community colleges across 33 states, and will help an estimated 6,000 students pursuing trade careers by the end of this year.

Emily was born and raised in New Jersey, and graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in architecture. She has a background in design, public health, radio, and comedy.