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James Hetfield honed his own welding hobby and auctioned off handmade tables to aid students

COURTESY PHOTO: CCC - Clackamas Community College 2019 Metallica Scholars participants.COURTESY PHOTO: CCC - Metallica lead vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield designed and built a pair of one-of-a-kind coffee tables dubbed 'The COVID Collection by JH.' Proceeds from auctioning off the tables benefitted the Clackamas Community College welding program.While sheltering in place because of COVID-19, many have found new hobbies or honed old skills. That includes Metallica lead vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield, whose hobby led to more money for Clackamas Community College welding students.

While staying at home this spring, as the college announced in a news release, Hetfield "practiced a different kind of heavy metal — welding." The hobby was not altogether new to Hetfield. He has been restoring classic cars for many years, the college said, and practiced his welding skills while doing so.

But with extra time on his hands, Hetfield took his welding skills a bit further, designing and building a pair of one-of-a-kind coffee tables called The COVID Collection by JH.

Those tables were auctioned off and fetched more than $75,000 to support the welding programs within the Metallica Scholars Initiative, a partnership between the band's All Within My Hands Foundation and the American Association of Community Colleges. Clackamas Community College was one of three colleges to receive funding from Hetfield's project.

The college will use the funding to purchase additional tools, textbooks, personal protective equipment and more for low-income students studying welding. The students also will receive resume and interview prep and practice, job and/or internship placement assistance, advising, career coaching and additional support for transportation, books and supplies.

COURTESY PHOTO: CCC - A student in CCC's computer numerical control machining class sports a Metallica scholars mask Sept. 2.This marks the second time Clackamas has received funding for its welding program through the Metallica Scholars Initiative. In spring 2019, CCC was one of 15 colleges that had supported Metallica during its recent U.S. tours selected to receive $100,000 to support students training to enter the work force.

"The continued support we have received from the All Within My Hands Foundation has been astounding," College Dean Cynthia Risan said. "Thanks to this extra funding, our Metallica Scholars are not only graduating but finding jobs. Our job placement rates (exceed) 90%."

Jessica Jones was one of those welding students to graduate and find a job. This spring, she landed a job with a welding metal fabrication business, according to the college.

"By this program providing me with essential tools and equipment required to work in this field, I was able to build the confidence needed to obtain multiple welding certifications and jump feet first into the industry," Jones said, "that regardless of COVID-19, still needs qualified and skilled essential workers."

The college will put the funds to use and continue training students like Jones this fall, even amid circumstances created by the pandemic, according to college spokesperson Lori Hall. Some career-technical education courses will be held in-person with limited capacity. The classes will meet the school's Return to Campus safety plan and follow safety protocols such as wearing masks at all times and abiding by physical distancing guidelines.

COURTESY PHOTO: CCC - Students in CCC's computer numerical control machinging class practice social distancing Sept. 2.

For more information about Clackamas Community College, visit To learn more about CCC's programs, visit To learn more about the Metallica Scholars program, contact Tom Brown at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-594-3956.

Kristen Wohlers
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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