WSU Tech awarded $50,000 to continue Metallica Scholars program

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -- WSU Tech is one of fifteen schools nationwide selected to be a part of the Metallica Scholars initiative by Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation and the American Association of Community Colleges.

This is the second year for the Metallica Scholars programs as well as the second time WSU Tech has been chosen to receive the grant.

“We are honored to have been selected as a recipient of the Metallica Scholars grant for the second year in a row” said Dr. Sheree Utash, President, WSU Tech, “With these funds and a laser-like focus on providing technical educational opportunities to underrepresented populations and transitioning members of our community who are underemployed into high-wage, high-demand jobs we believe this year we will be able to expand on the success of our initial Metallica Scholars program.”

The second round of Metallica Scholars program will focus on bringing underrepresented populations and disadvantaged individuals, such as those living in the high poverty areas, into technical education programs, like Machining Technology, Welding Technology, Automotive Service Technology, Climate & Energy Control (HVAC), Construction Science / Carpentry, Information Technology, and Industrial Automation Machine Maintenance Technology. Within the targeted education pathways, there are multiple exit points where students can enter the workforce to fill open positions. There are also earn and learn opportunities within some of these programs, which will provide program participants with an opportunity to start earning an income while completing their education.

Launched in December 2018, the initial Metallica Scholars program at WSU Tech focused specifically on increasing the number of women in manufacturing-related careers. During the year WSU Tech educated a group of 31 ROCKSTAR women in the field of manufacturing.

“While there is still a large disparity between men and women in manufacturing and the first program helped to attract more women into those careers there is an additional need to help the local working poor gain stability for themselves and their families” said Utash.

The Metallica Scholars program is open to 25 students who will receive up to $1,000 in scholarships for tuition and fees in one of the eligible educational pathways up to $500 to assist in purchasing books, school supplies, program tools, gas cards, or another needed service that is hindering their ability to persist through the program and at least one guaranteed interview for a paid position with a local industry partner.

Students targeted to participate in the second round of Metallica Scholars program must meet the following criteria to be considered:

Be enrolled in one of the eligible identified programs, has completed the FAFSA application, AND meets at least 1 of the following criteria:

* Lives in targeted high-poverty areas (defined as zip codes: 67214, 67211, 67213,
* 67202, 67218, 67216, 67219, 67210, 67217, 67208), OR
* Is female, OR
* Is of a racial or ethnic minority, OR
* Is Pell-eligible.