Pubdate: Sat, 16 Feb 2008
Source: Valley Independent, The (Monessen, PA)
Copyright: 2008 The Tribune-Review Publishing Co.
Author: Chris Buckley


The Mon Valley Progress Council took the first step in its initiative
on drug abuse in the workplace this week.

In questionnaires sent Monday to 175 businesses, the progress council
asked for feedback on how drug abuse affects hiring and other work
place issues.

Progress Council Executive Director Joe Kirk said the questionnaires
went to nonretail businesses, including banks, manufacturers and other
large companies in the Valley.

During its quarterly meeting last month,...the drug initiative was
among...those the progress council executive board outlined for 2008.

The completed questionnaires are due back to the council by month's

A committee will be formed that includes progress council members and
business leaders who indicate on the form that they wish to be included.

"The committee's task will be to come up with effective local
strategies to address the drug problem as it relates to the work
place," Kirk said.

Kirk said companies screening potential applicants for jobs are
finding the drug problem increasing, not decreasing.

He said the survey will attempt to determine the significance of the
problem. The initiative will send a message to the business community
that the organization is serious about fighting drugs in the workplace.

"Companies that are interested in moving into the area may view that
as a positive for our area," Kirk said.

"Economic development does not happen without a workforce and its
important for the workforce to realize that drugs cannot exist in the
work place."
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