Pubdate: Mon, 12 May 2008
Source: Erie Times-News (PA)
Copyright: 2008 Erie Times-News
Author: Jim Martin
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)


Failure to pass drug tests is a major problem for some local job
applicants and companies that would like to  hire them, said Jake
Rouch, vice president for economic development for the Erie Regional
Chamber and Growth  Partnership.

One local employer, who has asked that his name not be used, has
called drug testing a major hurdle to employment for a substantial
pool of local employees.

Dennis Frampton, president of C&J Industries in Meadville, said his
company tries to cut the problem off at the pass by telling
applicants up front that  they will be tested for drugs.

Even then, Frampton said applicants go the whole way through the
application process only to fail the drug  test.

The problem is far more pronounced for other employers.

"What you find is that is a screening tool, " Rouch  said. "It's not a
matter of 80 people took this drug  test and five failed. That isn't
what we are hearing. At some companies, 65 or 70 percent who are
taking it  fail."

That's expensive for the employers who pay for the testing and a
potential lost job for someone who needs  one.

The local shop owner who asked not to be named said some companies
have considered excluding some drugs from testing as a way of
qualifying more applicants.

Rouch said the solution might not be simple to find.

"Candidly, you're not going to magically change that  overnight," he
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin