Natoli hosted a class of local high school students today at our global headquarters in St. Charles, MO. A cohort of approximately 30 students from the St. Charles County CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) toured our facility, led by training instructors Dave Holleran, Bill Turner, and Doug Kirsch, learning the basics of tooling manufacturing. The goal of the visit was to introduce students to career options within the tablet compression industry. Much like our other training courses
, the agenda began with an overview of how tooling is made and finished with a crash course in tablet press operations. It was capped off with a Q&A session with Natoli’s instructors.
“This was a fun group,” said instructor Bill Turner, “they asked insightful questions and showed a genuine interest.” Some students who stayed after the visit was complete had the chance to meet President Dale Natoli, who offered students some ‘bonus content’ on the historical origins of tablet compression.
Our visitors seemed to enjoy the tactile nature of our work the most. While the inputs and outputs of engineering and manufacturing processes may appeal to some, all the students enjoyed seeing a tablet compressed in a live demonstration. Students kept the newly minted tablets (made without active ingredients) as a souvenir. They could see and feel the tablets to manually test their tensile strength. “It’s interesting to see how small stuff like [these tablets] are made. I wouldn’t have normally thought about it,” said one student. “Once you do, you start to look at the world differently. It gives you a new perspective on how things are made.”
While the tablet compression industry could be a stable and rewarding career for young professionals, it may not be top-of-mind, being the niche industry that it is. Generally speaking, since the 2020 global pandemic, skilled trades like construction and manufacturing have piqued more interest for students in junior college, according to a recent NPR report
. Despite this trend, that’s not to say that they couldn’t leverage more cerebral computer and data literacy talents. As the pharmaceutical industry continues to advance into technologies like blockchain, automation, Big Data and A.I., younger students who remain open to new career fields may find a latent interest in the tablet compression industry. And if they do, they’ll remember their visit to Natoli Engineering on a warm summer day and say that it all began with a single punch.
About St. Charles County CAPS— CAPS programs are nationally recognized, innovative high school programs. Students fast forward into their future and are fully immersed in a professional culture, solving real world problems, using industry standard tools and are mentored by actual employers, all while receiving high school and college credit. CAPS is an example of how business, community and public education can partner to produce personalized learning experiences that educate the workforce of tomorrow, especially in high skill, high demand jobs.
For more information: www.stcharlescountycaps.yourcapsnetwork.org