FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2007
Medical Lab Tech Training Receives Federal Funding
Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon Supported College's Request
College of the Canyons is one step closer to launching a Medical Lab Technician (MLT) training program, thanks to a $100,000 federal appropriation proposed by Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon.
The MLT program will address a critical workforce shortage in this needed medical services specialty. The $100,000 will be used to purchase the initial equipment necessary to begin the program. The degree program will prepare a minimum of 100 technicians per year for medical testing laboratories and health care facilities.
College of the Canyons Superintendent-President Dr. Van Hook expressed her enthusiasm and appreciation of Congressman McKeon's support for this funding as it will enable the college to continue to meet the training needs of the community. "College of the Canyons has been working with local businesses and hospitals for the last 18 months to develop a partnership and create a medical lab technician program to train workers for this critical field where the shortage of highly skilled trained workers is greater than the shortage of nurses we are experiencing state and nationwide," Van Hook said. "Dean of Allied Health Sue Albert, and Dena Maloney, in her role as Dean of Economic Development, have spearheaded this initiative in order to ensure that the trained professionals are available for critical positions right here in the Santa Clarita Valley."
The program will be a demonstration project, building off of the success of the College's nursing program which works in collaboration with such hospitals as the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, Providence Holy Cross Hospital, and Valley Presbyterian Hospital.
This program will be one of only two in the state housed in a community college. "College of the Canyons is uniquely situated to respond to this need to create a cutting-edge training program because of the composition and collaboration of businesses in the area, the college's history of supporting businesses to gain access to the training they need to grow their businesses, and the availability of local funds to renovate space originally built in the early 1970s to create a state of the art training center," Van Hook said.
The demonstration project addresses a critical health care shortage for Medical Lab Technicians and creates a model program that can be replicated nationally by making curriculum available to other colleges. Medical Lab Technicians are in great demand in California. California will need an additional 7,000 medical lab technicians by 2012 (California Labor Market Information, 2005).
"Nationally, there is a critical shortage of medical lab technicians," McKeon said, explaining why he supported the college's request for funding. "And this is a problem that will only grow exponentially over time, so such a program is quite necessary, especially in California where we see even greater shortages."
The $100,000 request was included in the Labor-Health & Human Services-Education Appropriations bill that passed the House Thursday. The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate for a vote and later to conference between both Houses. In order for the bill to become law, it must then be signed by the President.