Local pharmacist making a difference on Moncrief Road

Capstone Institute providing training for future pharmacy technicians

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A local pharmacist is trying to make a difference in northwest Jacksonville with a first of its kind pharmacy tech school.

Dr. Albert Chester II, founder of the Capstone Institute, chose the location on Moncrief Road to train future health care workers in the struggling neighborhood.

“The need was there. We’re trying to provide an opportunity,” Chester said. “Nothing helps a pharmacy better than a great pharmacy technician.”

According to some numbers from the Labor department, the Healthcare sector is expected to grow and become one of the largest employer during the next decade.

“People are living longer. Everyone is on a pill nowadays,” Chester said. “It’s a complete introduction to the health care field.”

Chester said that the average income for individuals between the ages of 18-24 in the neighborhood is under $13,000 per year. As a pharmacy technician, salaries can range from $30,000 to $50,000 a year, according to Chester.

“It’s a launching pad. The reaction has been great,” Chester said. “You meet people and hear their stories. If you change the way you look at things, things you look at will change.”

The program costs $2,600, but Chester was able to find sponsors for all nine of his students this term, so none of the students had to pay for the program themselves. Chester said he wants to see the program grow but also wants to keep the footprint on Moncrief Road.