Doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals depend on lab results to diagnose and treat patients, and they rely on lab technicians to provide those results. “Lab technologists have a four-year degree and a lab tech has an associate degree," said UTMB’s Vicki S. Freeman. UTMB offers an online program to help those with associate degrees obtain their bachelor's degrees. “We have received a CLIMBS grant from the Department of Labor to educate long-term unemployed and underemployed individuals to work in the clinical laboratory. The grant pays all tuition and fees for the participants,” Freeman said.