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New Public Health Laboratory Workforce Pipeline Project Receives Historic and Much-Needed $282 Million Investment

An APHL-CDC Fellow works under a hood in a laboratory as her supervisor looks on.

Silver Spring, MD, September 15, 2021 — The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) has been awarded $282 million over five years by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help strengthen the capacity of our nation’s public health laboratories. The Public Health Laboratory Workforce Pipeline Project will increase the number of qualified personnel by expanding training opportunities, building up the existing APHL-CDC Fellowship Program and launching a new internship program to enhance laboratory capacity now and for the future.

“We are excited for the launch of this new effort to significantly expand and strengthen the pipeline of qualified laboratory professionals bolstering our nation’s ability to monitor, detect and respond to health threats,” said Scott Becker, chief executive officer of APHL. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of public health laboratories while exacerbating ongoing workforce development challenges including staffing shortages due to an aging workforce, increasing complexity of skills needed to keep up with technology advances and more. We are deeply grateful for this historic and much-needed investment in the public health laboratory workforce.”

Building on APHL’s existing programs, the expanded fellowship program and new internship initiative will provide real-world, experiential and professional-impact learning opportunities for undergraduate-, bachelor’s-, master’s- and doctoral-level laboratory scientists. The curriculum includes a combination of required courses along with discipline-specific technical skills building and training. Through field placement in a public health laboratory, fellows and interns gain competence in laboratory science and practice and gain skills to qualify for positions after successful completion of the program. These candidates, in turn, will increase their host laboratory’s capacity to support existing programs and respond to emerging threats.

“This is about building a larger highly trained workforce to better protect health,” Becker said. “Public health laboratory staff perform extraordinary work keeping our communities safe, but have long been under-resourced. This is a welcome opportunity to begin to change that.”

APHL is seeking applicants for fellowship positions for placement in January 2022. Subsequent classes will be recruited annually for placement beginning summer 2022 through summer 2025. The internship initiative will launch its first class of interns during summer 2022. Additionally, APHL is recruiting local, state and territorial public health laboratories to host candidates for a one-year term.

This initiative is funded by the American Rescue Plan through CDC’s Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services, Division of Laboratory Systems.

To learn more about this project and the application process, visit

Contact: Michelle Forman at 240.485.2793 or

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The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) works to strengthen laboratory systems serving the public’s health in the U.S. and globally. APHL’s member laboratories protect the public’s health by monitoring and detecting infectious and foodborne diseases, environmental contaminants, terrorist agents, genetic disorders in newborns and other diverse health threats. Learn more at

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