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Gateway receives Metallica grant to provide telecommunications training

Electrical Engineering Technology

A new Gateway Technical College effort to provide flexible and real-world training in the telecommunications industry will be supported by a $100,000 Metallica Scholars Initiative grant funded by Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation.

Gateway is one of 10 community colleges from across the country chosen through a competitive proposal process to receive $100,000 to support students training to enter the American workforce. These students will become the first cohort of Metallica Scholars.

Stacia Thompson, Gateway Director of Workforce Strategies, says the grant will be used to provide telecommunications industry training in a way to meet the schedule of a working student.

“This is ideal for those who are interested in telecommunications as a new career or currently are in the field, but seek more skills or certification in cabling. This is an opportunity for industry training without having to give up working during the day,” says Thompson.

The grant will cover 90 percent of the costs, which includes course, books, computer needs, transportation assistance and required tool fees.

This major workforce education initiative provides direct support to community colleges to enhance their career and technical education programs.

“The All Within My Hands Foundation and Metallica are proud to announce this major new initiative,” said Edward Frank, executive director of AWMH. “While the foundation continues our support for the fight against hunger and emergency community aid, we are now expanding our mission to include support for career and technical education. 

“The goal of our Metallica Scholars Initiative is to improve career opportunities for community college students in the trades.”

Instead of an entire block of several courses, the Gateway grant structure calls for students to enroll in one-credit increments. Courses are offered online, coupled with hands-on lab time. This allows students to take the course on their own schedule, important to those who currently work. 

“Our business partners have shared with us the need for workers with these skills,” says Thompson. “It is an industry in need of workers, especially with all the construction going on in Southeastern Wisconsin.”

Partnering with the American Association of Community Colleges, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that represents the nation’s 1,103 community colleges, the Metallica Scholars awards are designed to provide support of relevant job skill training for community college students, reinvest in communities that supported Metallica during its recent United States tours, and leverage the influence of Metallica to elevate the importance of career and technical education.

All Within My Hands Foundation will work closely with AACC to implement and manage the program. 

“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,” said AACC President and CEO Walter G. Bumphus.