Carhartt, Metallica Team Up to Address U.S. Labor Shortage

Work gear manufacturer Carhartt and the heavy metal band Metallica are looking to turn the page on the U.S. labor shortage that’s impacting industries such as aggregates and construction by campaigning to recruit people for skilled trade work.

Metallica’s foundation “All Within My Hands” has joined Carhartt for a recruitment ad featuring band members James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo in a video with a World War-era “We Want You” feel.

The new ad is actually a riff on Metallica’s origin: In 1981, Ulrich took out a “musicians wanted” classified ad in a Los Angeles newspaper that ultimately joined him with Hetfield and formed the band four decades ago.

In return, Carhartt donated all online sales from Labor Day to All Within My Hands’ Metallica Scholars, an initiative dedicated to providing skills and services to students of all ages who are looking to enter a traditional trade or other applied learning program, according to the band.

“To build the workforce of the future, we need to connect more people to the training and education that helps fill essential jobs,” said Janet Ries, vice president of marketing at Carhartt. “With our partnership, we’re sending the message that whether you’re in high school looking for a first step or out of work looking for a new start, come join the skilled trades. What better time to recruit job seekers into these exciting, high-demand opportunities than on Labor Day?”

Metallica, one of the biggest touring acts in music history, also worked with Carhartt to recruit workers to build a mock stage piece for the band at Upstaging,Inc., a production and transportation company that assists music and entertainment acts in putting on shows.

The workshop was documented in a new video, “Hard Rock Is Hard Work,” which shows how skills and jobs in the live events industry can transfer to the larger job market – including welding, fabrication, lighting, electrical, construction and more.

According to Carhartt, the campaign is in response to the millions of people who were put out of work at concerts, sporting events, theatrical performances and other events due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The recruitment is necessary, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 943,000 new jobs in July.

“Carhartt and All Within My Hands are bound by our shared passion for supporting workforce education,” said Dr. Edward Frank, executive director at the All Within My Hands Foundation. “As two organizations dedicated to providing opportunity, we hope to expand the Metallica Scholars program to include even more schools this year and to get even more students trained for a career in the skilled trades.”

Carhartt said in a release that labor should be honored every day and that the workforce education program connects students to hands-on learning, in addition to providing direct support to 23 schools through the American Association of Community Colleges to enhance their career and technical education programs.

“To me, the core mission statement of Metallica is to connect people together,” Ulrich said, according to the All Within My Hands site. “There’s no better way to do that than to share in the good will and give back.”

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