Lake Area Tech Awarded $1.15 Million TAA Grant

Watertown, SD – Lake Area Technical Institute is the recipient of a $1.15 million federal grant that will fund a simulated blood bank and microbiology lab for students in the Medical Lab Technology program. The grant is part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative, which promotes educational development and employment opportunities in several areas including health.

The new simulated blood bank and microbiology lab will allow students to perform blood banking and microbiology lab tests that mimic a true hospital laboratory. Currently, students learn the concepts and testing procedures in segments at LATI then incorporate them all in sequence during their hospital clinical experience.

“The students might learn blood typing one day, antibody screening another day, and cross matching the next,” Mona Gleysteen, LATI Medical Lab instructor, said. “The new simulated lab will allow them to put it all together at once, just like in the hospital setting.”

Alison Albertson, Lake Area Tech’s Medical Lab Technician program supervisor, said students won’t have to go through a learning curve when they get to the hospital setting. “Having a simulated blood bank and micro lab on campus will give the students that much more experience because they’ll have performed those tests already in our lab. Not only will that give them a jump start during their clinicals, but it will also increase their confidence.”

Work will begin immediately on the planning and implementation of the new lab.

Another component of the TAA grant includes an opportunity for the medical lab program to virtually connect with chemistry and biology labs in Colorado. This innovative technology will allow Lake Area Tech MLT students to expand their knowledge base and increase exposure to specialized lab techniques.

LATI was included in the TAA grant awarded to the Pueblo Community College Consortium. The U.S. Department of Labor is implementing and administering the program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education. More information on the TAA grant and the award recipients can be found at http://www.doleta.gov/taaccct.

Two other programs there have also received funds and equipment. LATI’s Dental Assisting program received a $50,000 grant from Dakota Dental. The department will use the funds to upgrade radiography equipment for laboratory and clinical activities and enhance their radiography course curriculum. This new digital equipment will enable Dental Assisting instructors to teach multiple radiographic modalities using the newest techniques.

The Diesel Technology program at Lake Area Tech has received a donation from Butler CAT consisting of two transmissions from off-road Caterpillar haul trucks and two torque converters from CAT dozers. The donation will provide valuable hands-on learning tools for students learning to service and maintain this type of equipment.