BURLINGTON – Burlington-based healthcare diagnostics company LabCorp has donated $1 million to Alamance Community College (ACC) to support the school’s growing biotechnology and life science curricula.

LabCorp CEO David King and ACC President Algie Gatewood sign documents formalizing LabCorp’s $1 million gift to the local community college. (ACC photo)

ACC President Algie Gatewood said in a news conference this week announcing the gift that part of the funding will be used to provide new high-tech equipment, supplies and maintenance for the school’s Biotechnology, Medical Laboratory Technology, Histotechnology, and Agricultural-Biotechnology programs. The largest portion will purchase and maintain technology for a $9.1 million Biotechnology and Life Science Center of Excellence, scheduled to be completed by August 2021.

The new 34,000-square-foot facility will be paid for through a $39.6 million Alamance County bond resolution. It will add between 14 and 20 labs, classrooms and multipurpose rooms to ACC’s Graham campus. And it will house three programs: Biotechnology, Medical Laboratory Technology, and Histotechnology.

The LabCorp gift follows close on the heels of a $100,000 Economic Development Award (EDA) from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. The funding, announced late last year, will help boost bioscience industry growth in Burlington and Alamance County. It is tied to LabCorp’s commitment to create and maintain at least 20 new life-science-related jobs in the county over the next four years.

The partnership between LabCorp and ACC spans several decades. The two organizations collaborated to launch ACC’s biotechnology program in 1985, the medical laboratory technology program in 1988, and the histotechnology program in 2018. ACC’s nationally recognized life science curriculum has produced close to 700 graduates. Many work for leading local companies that include Carolina Biological Supply, Anderson Scientific, BD, Flexcell, Cone Health, Duke University, the University of North Carolina, Eurofins and LabCorp, where more than 100 ACC graduates are employed.

“LabCorp’s commitment to us exemplifies the types of successful partnerships that exist between local industry and Alamance Community College,” President Gatewood said. Those partnerships have helped establish Burlington and Alamance County as the No. 1 small metropolitan statistical area in the nation in research, testing and medical labs. That according to a 2016 report on the impact of life sciences on North Carolina by TEConomy Partners, a research, analysis and strategy consultancy for economic development. Bioscience employment in Alamance County has been forecast to grow by 7 percent from 2017 to 2020.

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of LabCorp’s founding in Burlington,” said company CEO David P. King. “We are proud that Alamance County has remained our headquarters, and we’re pleased to honor that commitment to the community through this gift to the college and its students.”

LabCorp operates one of the largest clinical laboratory networks in the world, including three dozen primary labs in the United States. It employs more than 60,000 people and reported 2017 net revenues exceeding $10 billion.

(C) N.C. Biotechnology Center