Columbia-based COLA is taking action next month in an attempt to strengthen the anticipated shortage of medical laboratory scientists as the current generation ages out of the workforce by holding the Workforce Action Alliance Summit.

Laboratories are struggling to fill vacant positions and the current workforce is overworked. In the aftermath of a three-year COVID-19 pandemic that required laboratory staff to work day and night, some have already left the profession. According to current forecasts, the next generation will not produce enough replacements to meet the increased need for laboratory testing. The severity of this shared problem affects private and public health laboratories across the nation.

In response to this crisis, in May in Fort Worth, Texas, COLA with hold the Summit, which will mark the beginning of the action.

“There are so many great initiatives already underway.” said CEO Nancy Stratton. “The questions for all of us at the Summit will be what is missing, what can be scaled and how can we unify and focus our efforts on solutions that will make the biggest difference.”