- Workwear brand Carhartt has teamed with All Within My Hands, a nonprofit founded by the members and management of heavy metal rock band Metallica, in an effort to recruit a new generation of workers into the trades.
- Carhartt announced it will donate all online sales on Labor Day to AWMH's Metallica Scholars, an initiative to help students learn skills and services as they enter trade schools and programs.
- The holiday campaign recreates a 1981 "Musicians Wanted" ad, placed in a Los Angeles newspaper by Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, that ultimately led to the formation of the band.
The two-and-a-half-minute video shows the band members, somewhat reminiscent of World War II-era recruitment efforts, talking about the importance of the skilled trades. During the ad, students and job seekers are directed to visit Carhartt's site to learn more about how to get involved with Metallica Scholars.
Metallica founded the AWMH organization to help encourage people to find jobs in skilled trades, knowing that the music touring industry is inextricably linked with the trades. Metallica has toured for decades, and had to postpone appearances when the pandemic first began.
"The music industry, and the country at large, do not run without the skilled trades," Metallica frontman and guitarist James Hetfield said in the video. "Behind every concert we play and song that we sing there's a symphony of carpenters, electricians, laborers, welders, truckers, mechanics, painters and much more who make it all happen. But we need more of you."
Like the title of the band's 1993 hit song, "Sad But True," the number of workers in the skilled trades is dwindling, and has been exacerbated by the pandemic. In addition, millions of people in the live events industry were put out of work when they were shut down, and the industry still hasn't fully recovered.
To keep up, the construction industry will need to hire at least 430,000 more workers in 2021 than it did in 2020, according to an analysis by Associated Builders and Contractors in March. That number could balloon to 1 million in the years to come.
The industry has turned to music for recruitment before. In January 2020, St. Louis subcontractor UP Companies teamed with Howard "Chingy" Bailey Jr. to write and produce a song and video called "Old Construction Road," parodying the hit song "Old Town Road" by rapper Lil Nas X.
When speakers and job fairs didn't get the job done, UPCO hoped to reach young members of the workforce more creatively, UPCO President Michael B. Kennedy Jr. said at the time. As of the start of September, the video has more than 23,000 views on YouTube.