As the fall semester of a new school year is once again upon millions of college students, RJ Lee Group announces how its partnership with Columbia Basin College (CBC), located in Pasco, Washington, is adding value to the Tri-Cities.
The Center for Laboratory Sciences (CLS), housed in a state-of-the-art facility on the CBC campus, formed in 2002 when RJ Lee Group and CBC formed an educational partnership. CLS has been a training ground for dozens of students; all of whom, under the guidance of qualified and degreed scientists, have been schooled in general laboratory operations, sample intake and preparation, and hands-on laboratory analysis.
This has been one of the best learning experiences of my life,” says office intern Sopheary Long. “My being involved in the day-to-day operations here at RJ Lee Group while attending CBC has given me the best of both worlds.”
Levi Shaw is an intern at CLS. He says, “Where else could a first year chemistry student get the chance to work side by side with scientists who have advanced level degrees in the fields of chemistry, biology and materials science? Working with so many different kinds of people and materials in a functional laboratory environment has been a real learning experience.”
Often laboratory interns are able to trade in their CLS internships after graduation from CBC to full time employment as laboratory technicians. Others go on to four colleges or universities, taking with them the experiences that have allowed them to pursue undergraduate research opportunities. “I was unsure of which path to follow at CBC, but once I got the internship at CLS I felt right at home and knew what career I wanted to pursue,” says Becky Thompson, a full-time CLS laboratory technician. Former CLS intern Bryanna Mull, is now also a laboratory technician. She echoed Ms. Thompson’s comments, “I am constantly learning, constantly exploring in this job. I had a chance to try out lab work and found that I was good it at it. It isn’t often you get to ‘try before you buy’ a career. This job is a great fit.”
CBC has long been a strong supporter of the community by returning well-trained and highly motivated individuals into the workforce. Internships at CLS figure significantly into that equation. Working closely with partners like RJLG allows CBC to provide both breadth and depth to the educational experience ultimately producing motivated career-seekers who are focused and well trained to meet the Tri-Cities’ unique labor needs.
CBC is a community college with a comprehensive mission for the mid-Columbia. Fundamentally, the college environment is one of access and opportunity, as manifested in three areas: (1) The first two years of a college education; (2) Economic development through workforce education; and (3) Basic skills education in many areas, including G.E.D. and English-as-a-Second Language. College leaders have worked to wed education and economic development through improvement of its infrastructure. The results include the addition of a new Science & Technology Center, a four-story Health Science Center, and the Moore Observatory.
RJ Lee Group is an organization of scientific experts who provide analytical and consulting services based on extensive knowledge of materials characterization, analytical instrumentation and software development. Leading organizations come to RJ Lee Group for more than data and information; they come for an innovative approach and technical solutions developed through our commitment to quality, reliability and customer satisfaction. RJ Lee Group is built on a culture of continuous improvement, constantly developing and implementing new technologies to deliver value to its customers and enhance its core business. This philosophy has materialized into a wide range of laboratory management and sampling logistics processes that reduce costs, speed analysis, and deliver high quality analytical information to customers. RJ Lee Group has an established and successful track record developing and commercializing leading-edge technologies and managing large-scale analytical efforts.
Together, RJ Lee Group, CLS and CBC look forward to helping build the 21st century economy to expand opportunity and access to higher education, strengthen our people, our businesses, and our way of life.