Students who want to become certified medical laboratory technologists are now training in Nova Scotia to meet the increasing demand for the health-care specialty. The province is supporting the re-introduction of the program at Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) to help ensure there will be enough health-care workers in the years ahead. “Training and recruiting more of these technologists is a top priority as we continue in our health human-resource planning,” said Health Minister Chris d’Entremont. “There’s a high demand for these health-care workers and this is an opportunity for people who want a fulfilling career in Nova Scotia.” The first class has begun a two-year diploma program at the community college’s new waterfront campus. The program will be accredited nationally and will accommodate 26 students per year. The first medical laboratory technologists class will graduate in 2009. Through a partnership between the departments of Education and Health, the province made a $1-million initial investment to finance the lab where the students train, and will also fund the annual operating costs of the program. For the past three years, Nova Scotia has partnered with New Brunswick Community College to train medical lab technologists. The Department of Health purchased 24 seats each year and Nova Scotia students who enrolled received a $4,000 bursary each year in exchange for an agreement to work here for two years after graduation. “NSCC is proud to offer this in-demand program in our state-of-the-art facilities at the waterfront campus,” said Pam Reid, vice-president of academic. “Already it is clear these students will make strong contributions to the communities in which they will live and work.” The investment in the medical lab technologists program is part of government’s skills initiative, Skills Nova Scotia. It involves working with partners to upgrade people’s skills, ranging from basic literacy to the use of the most advanced technologies, to further their success in education and the workplace.