New state-of-the-art medical laboratory opens at UMA

A boon for medical technology students and for the state

Student in new MLT lab.

On Tuesday, February 13, 2024, the University of Maine at Augusta celebrated the opening of its new medical lab training facility on UMA’s Augusta Campus. This renovated educational space now doubles the program’s student capacity and features state-of-the-art laboratory technology and equipment.

“The collaborative MLT Program between UMA and the University of Maine Presque Isle is the only clinical laboratory training program in Maine, so we very much understand and appreciate the gravity of our responsibilities to prepare and train future laboratorians to serve our communities,” says Elisha Sirios, MLT Program Coordinator.

This new learning space will “provide an expanded facility to address workforce education needs in Maine, a hallmark of what UMA does and what the entire University of Maine System is dedicated to address,” according to Jennifer Cushman, President of UMA.

There is significant need for MLTs in Maine and across the country. Brenda McAleer, UMA’s Associate Provost and Dean of the College of Professional Sciences made known that there are approximately 90 medical lab tech positions currently open in our state, and Cushman shared that “according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationally, about 24,000 openings for clinical laboratory technologists and technicians are projected annually over the next decade…as approximately 40% of the current laboratory workforce is within five to ten years of retirement.”

“The MLT Program is invaluable to MaineGeneral Health,” according to its President and CEO, Nathan Howell. “MLT’s fill critical roles in our health care system as 74% of our current lab staff graduated from this program.”

“Historically, because of space availability constraints, MLT program classes have been limited to 8-10 students at a time,” Sirois informed. The lab training had previously been done at MaineGereral where the lab space is just under 800 square-feet. “The combined square-footage of this new space is around 4500.” This under-budget $1.75 million project was funded through support from the University of Maine and several grants including the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan Grant.

UMA’s Medical Laboratory Technology program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences and the new medical lab training facility is in Robinson Hall, at 37 University Drive, on the Augusta Campus.

View more photos from the event on our Facebook page.