For forty years, one Frederick organization has been helping to ensure the quality and standards of organizations across the globe. The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) is the only independent, 501(c)3, non-profit, internationally-recognized accreditation body in the U.S. that offers a full range of laboratory accreditation services, membership and training, and they are located right here in Frederick County.
A2LA is dedicated to recognizing competent testing and calibration labs, inspections, proficiency testing providers, product certification bodies and reference material producers. The organization has over 3,400 accredited certificates representing all 50 states and many locations around the world. Their services span a broad spectrum of industries including materials testing (e.g. automotive and manufacturing), life science (food testing, ground water monitoring animal health and World Anti-Doping Agency labs), calibrations and a large array of electrical and telecommunications laboratories. They have also recently expanded into the world of cannabis testing laboratories and cybersecurity.
A2LA has called Frederick home since the 1990s. The organization originally moved to a space on Buckeystown Pike, before outgrowing the facility and moving to their current location on Presidents Court in 2015. Since then, they have grown to 70 employees and have brought on a new CEO to lead the team. This month marks two years since Lonnie Spires took over the head role for A2LA. Spires says, “I really saw our organization being more focused on the customers. We want to make sure we give them what they want and even thinking about things they need; but haven’t asked for yet. Empowering employees is the initial step toward becoming a more customer-focused organization.”
The organization has not only become a global leader but has proven to be a valuable asset to the Frederick business community as well. Trainees from all over the world make their way to Frederick for A2LA training, which provides CEUs through its accreditation from the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). Thanks to the recent acquisition of WorkPlace Training, A2LA is now able to expand their training efforts to reach even further, adding e-learning modules and additional technical training to their repertoire. This will allow the organization to offer online training across the globe, in addition to their range of instructor-led classroom trainings.
A2LA recently celebrated their 40th anniversary, receiving special recognition from the Maryland Department of Commerce. The organization was also recognized locally this summer, being named one of the Best Places to Work in Frederick County for 2018. That award was earned thanks to A2LA employees who proudly wrote in to nominate their employer. Visit their website at www.A2LA.org for more information.