The days of volunteering to have your hands swabbed by a lab technician for some extra cash are now a thing of the past in the Mining City.
This is because BioScience Laboratories Inc. — a Bozeman-based company that, among other functions, tests the effectiveness of hand sanitizers, lotions and other products — recently closed its Butte location, resulting in the loss of 10 fulltime jobs.
The company announced on social media that it would be closing its Excelsior Avenue facility Aug 31.
Britt Kapperud, marketing coordinator for BioScience, later confirmed the closure in an email to The Montana Standard. The reason for the closure, Kapperud said, was one based on participants.
“The need for more study participants, which is the primary reason we opened the Butte facility, wasn’t consistent enough to justify a second facility,” Kapperud wrote.
Ten of the facility’s 11 fulltime employees have been laid off as a result of the closure, in addition to its one part-time employee.
“All Butte employees were encouraged to apply for positions at the Bozeman facility. Most did not want to move their families to Bozeman or make the commute, so we only had one person apply for a transfer,” Kapperud said.
Kapperud said BioScience opened its Butte location in April 2014 in an effort to gain access to a larger pool of study participants. The company needed to expand its reach, the spokesperson said, in order to keep up with the large number of subjects required for some of the tests the company performs.
BioScience got its start in 1991 when Marsha Paulson and her husband Daryl launched the company in Bozeman.
The company held an open house in Butte last November to increase awareness about the testing facility.
At that time, Paulson said the company boasted over 4,500 participants from Butte and Bozeman in its database and that participants could earn from $50 to $450 per study, depending on the duration. From 2014 to November 2016, the co-founder said, the company paid out over $300,000 in participant fees in the Mining City.
BioScience’s primary and now sole facility is located at 1765 S. 19th Ave. in Bozeman.