By Russell Kinsaul
ST. LOUIS, Missouri (KMOV) — A heavy metal band is working to bring good-paying jobs to the St. Louis region.
A foundation set up by the band Metallica is providing scholarships for students at East Central College in Union, Missouri. Justin Medlock is in the welding program at the college.
“Welding was just a creative process I really wanted to do,” Medlock said.
The program will increase his skills and potential earning power. A scholarship from Metallica will help pay for it.
“I’m not sure what I would have done without the Metallica scholarship,” he said. “It helped me out quite a bit.”
So far, 27 students at East Central College have received scholarships as part of a $100,000 award to the school from a foundation set up by the band. The students receiving money from it are called “Metallica scholars.”
Herman Hueffmeier always wanted to go back to school and start a new career but couldn’t afford it. The scholarship helped with buying tools and a computer.
“It relieved the stress,” Hueffmeier said. “It took a lot of stress off my shoulders so I could concentrate on my schooling.”
Hueffmeier is studying heating and cooling at the school. East Central is the only college in Missouri to receive a grant from Metallica’s foundation.
The scholarships are also helping to break gender barriers.
“I never considered a job in machining or manufacturing before,” Jessica Brown said.
Brown faced financial barriers as well. She is a single mom in her 30s.
“I don’t need that debt and it held me back,” she said. “And through this scholarship, I’ll graduate debt free.”
More than $40,000 is still available in Metallica scholarships for the spring semester.
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