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How Can You or Your Organization Assist with Clinical Laboratory Workforce Development?

The Clinical Laboratory Development Program (CLDP) is currently seeking partnerships with corporate affiliates, hospitals, laboratories, non-profits, and educational institutions. These partners will play a critical role in sustaining the CLDP by providing financial support and strategic guidance. In turn, partners have unique recruiting opportunities and access to a reference laboratory to process assays. You can partner with us in any combination of ways:

1. One-time or Recurring Donations

Your financial sponsorship of the CLDP will provide funding to offset the costs to apprentices for the program. The CLDP is committed to supporting the development of diverse cohorts and aims to ensure that cost is not a hindrance to entry. Therefore, there is no charge to the apprentices for the program, and housing scholarships are available to apprentices in need who currently reside outside the Chicagoland area. A portion of your donation may be tax-deductible.

2. Assay Outsourcing Partnerships

To provide hands-on bench experience for our apprentices, the CLDP will be performing molecular diagnostic and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) tests in our lab. Experienced laboratory professionals will train the apprentices one-on-one to perform each test according to CLIA-certified laboratory guidelines. We can develop workflows for specific molecular assays that partners would like to outsource, and our lab is committed to providing accurate results and rapid turnaround times.

To learn more about just some of our assay capabilities, click here for our test menu. (link to test menu)

3. Apprentice Sponsorship

Want one of our apprentices to join your lab as an employee upon completion of their training in our 16-week program? Spend less time and money on recruitment and onboarding; become a sponsor to ensure placement within your organization. We will continue to support the apprentices’ educational and professional journey as they work as your employees in your laboratory for weeks 17-52 of the apprenticeship.

Sponsors that would like us to train apprentices on a specific assay that your lab uses can co-develop a virtual reality training module with us as part of your sponsorship, to ensure that they are trained in accordance with your SOPs.

Tiers and Benefits

Sponsorship tiers are $25,000$50,000$75,000, and $100,000 per year. The number of benefits varies depending on sponsorship level and can include benefits such as:

  • Access to online apprentice profiles
  • Mentoring opportunities
  • Technical or company presentations
  • VR training module for your assay
  • Invitation to Career Day
  • Guest lecture(s) in the classroom
  • Logo on the CLDP website, annual report, and other materials
  • Careers profile on our website with a link to your company's job listing site
  • Logo recognition in the lab
  • Inclusion in the welcome swag bag
  • Recognition on Lab Week and Apprentice Week celebration materials

Customized sponsorship is available upon request and based on the level of support. In-kind sponsorships will also be considered. Payments can be made in installments or as a lump sum.

Other benefits of sponsorship:

  • Fostering the next generation of laboratory personnel, helping to address the critical laboratory personnel shortage
  • Recruitment of newly trained industry professionals through online resume book
  • Support of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging professional development activities, including need-based housing scholarships
  • Sponsor recognition/visibility to partners and learners
  • Invitations to events on-site or online
  • Efficient, high-quality reference lab services for assay sponsors
  • Help decrease burnout and training fatigue with your current laboratory staff

Get involved today; there are only a few months before our first cohort begins! Interested parties should contact Rhiannon Clifton (

Assay partners will need to sign a technical testing agreement with the University of Illinois System. Tests are billed on a cost-recovery basis. Financial sponsors may make payments online or by check.