CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Some big plans and learning opportunities will soon be available for future health care workers in the Medical Laboratory Tech field.

"This is a great field to come into. A great field to learn,” phlebotomist, Edward Alexander said.

For the first time, the University of Virginia Health System and Piedmont Virginia Community College are teaming up for an "Earn While You Learn" Medical Laboratory Technician Program.

"We're so excited about the partnership with PVCC. We believe that it's a professional development for individuals to grow and develop in their career,” the CEO at UVA Medical Center, Wendy Horton said.

"We know that we're going to get work-ready students when they complete the programs,” education coordinator for the Medical Lab at UVA Health, Briana Shelton said.

This is part of UVA Health's initiative to help PVCC students find their careers in health care. Not only does it give them access to lab testing and training, it's the first program to offer a stackable career option with no previous experience.

"Earn While You Learn is no experience necessary. So, you come in and you take the first step in a three-part stackable series, where you're paid on the job and you become a phlebotomist. And then, over time, there's two other steps, and then at the end, you have an associate’s degree. All the time that you have a career here at UVA Health and you're taking the next step, the next position, and your further your career at the same time,” said Horton.

Jean Runyon, the president of PVCC, says this partnership is important to the school, but will also be very important locally and nationally.

"Part of it is really about access. We want to make access to higher education and programming available to the members of our region and even beyond. It's really important to work together to fill that talent pipeline, so we can provide excellent health care for the member of our community,” she said.

For the students in this program, they're working to help save lives.

"I want to advance my career as much as possible and go as far as I can. As far as helping patients and doing the right thing,” said Alexander.

"I like to help all the patients. Actually, I already saved a lot of patient lives during my past 20 years," phlebotomist, Yuan Zhou said.

Officials say that this partnership comes at a time when hospitals across the country are losing more staff, but this program helps fill those gaps.