BCC Medical Laboratory Technician Program Received a $25,000 Grant
The BCC Medical Laboratory Technician Program (MLT) received a $25,000 grant from the New York City (NYC) Mayor’s Office Young Men’s Initiative.
The grant will enable up to 30 MLT students to acquire gainful employment while pursuing their studies in the MLT program at BCC by beginning a Certified Phlebotomist, someone who draws blood from veins or capillaries using a syringe or lancet for testing or analysis.
The MLT program at BCC is a career program in which students receive an Associate’s degree to work in a clinical laboratory.
The new grant is a pilot program initiated by Dr. Patricia Simino Boyce, CUNY’s University Dean for Health and Human Services, with funding from the Mayor’s Office Young Men’s Initiative. The grant to BCC enables MLT students to be employed as Phlebotomists while completing their degree. The career opportunities resulting from these credentials will provide meaningful paid employment for enrolled students, replacing non-related jobs for many students, offer valuable experience toward their desired healthcare careers in laboratory science and hiring pipelines by employers and community partners.
Dr. Diane Banks, MLT Program Director at BCC, noted that the new grant includes costs related to the training and supplies, phlebotomy certification fees and study materials for the national exam. Students need to complete the National Healthcare Association requirements of 30 live sticks venipuncture and 10 capillary sticks to be certified as a Phlebotomist. The grant enables them to meet these training requirements as an intern in a hospital setting.
To be eligible for the grant, BCC students must be enrolled in the MLT program and complete the Introduction to MLT course. In addition, they must receive a score of 75 percent or higher on a midterm practical experience where they work on a phlebotomy practice arm to learn how to draw blood. The grant targets students from vulnerable communities to provide career-specific skills for advancement.
Perla Tolentino, a career specialist in BCC’s Office of Career Development, is working with Dr. Banks to identify hospitals that will intern and employ BCC students training to be Phlebotomists.
In response to the workforce shortage crisis among laboratory professionals, Dr. Banks stated that 1199SEIU, the United Healthcare Workers union representing many public and private hospital systems in NYC, has agreed to reimburse 100% of members’ tuition costs to pursue degrees in laboratory science at any level after being employed one full year, upon reaching full member status. Students finding employment through this NYC grant initiative may also earn eligibility for the work experience requirement to pursue a tuition-free advanced degree in laboratory science after graduating from BCC.
Dr. Banks stated, “This grant represents an economic opportunity for our MLT students, so they don’t have to choose between work and getting an education. We are grateful to the Mayor’s Office and Dr. Boyce at CUNY for providing this support.”