News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Knight Foundation

Hospice of the Western Reserve


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business


Drug tests and drilling jobs are often in conflict
Half or more of the would be fracking workers are rejected for bad drug-tests
Story by TOM BOGERDING


 
Ohio is expected to see a hiring boom connecting to drilling, but drug tests may disqualify half the applicants.
Courtesy of TIM RUDDELL
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Drilling for oil and gas in Ohio's shale is expected to ramp up in the next two years. But, industry leaders say they've hit a snag: Too few potential workers can pass a required drug screen. For Ohio Public Radio, WOSU Tom Borgerding has more.

BOGERDING: Oil fields and drug tests

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:56)


The richest deposits of oil and natural gas in Ohio’s Utica shale formation are believed to be in the counties in the east, in the foothills of Appalachia. There’s a growing demand for workers there. But industry officials say too few qualify, in part, because they cannot pass a required drug screen.

“This is becoming a bigger problem, or people are finally being made aware that this is a bigger problem than we ever realized,” says Rhonda Reda. 

Reda is head of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program. She says abuse of prescription and illegal drugs makes it difficult to find enough workers. She says companies are reporting a rejection rate of applicants tied to drug use as high as 60 percent.

Who do you want operating that crane
Reda’s organization operates training programs throughout eastern Ohio. She says the industry is in a race against time. So far, it’s added about 39,000 jobs in Ohio but she predicts thousands of new jobs will be added during the next three years. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says 45 new horizontal wells in eastern Ohio are already producing oil and natural gas, and it’s issued permits for nearly 500 more. 

New Concord consultant Elizabeth Carter recruits oilfield workers. She conducts seminars in a bid to find drug-free applicants.

“If you’ve got a crane operator and he’s on Vicodin right now, do you want him on your job site?” asks Carter, who then answers: “Probably not.”

Clean today, not tomorrow
Carter says some workers who pass an initial drug screen are employed only a short time because required random follow-up tests reveal problems.

“Those new hires are usually on there (lists for followup tests), and that’s when they fail the drug test. They’ve cleaned up for your pre-employment and then think that they’re good to go and then they have positive for a random.”

The Centers for Disease Control says prescription drug abuse is epidemic across the country. Dr. Neil Capretto is the medical director of Gateway Rehabilitation Centers, which includes centers in Ohio. He says he’s not surprised by a 50 to 60 percent rejection rate of potential oilfield workers in eastern Ohio. And in many working-class areas of Ohio and Pennsylvania, he says there a physical cause.

“People who are involved with more manual labor, physical type work are more likely to have work related injuries, go to doctors, get prescription medicine,” says Capretto.

Capretto and Reda both say prescription and illegal drug abuse is a huge problem, and it’s prompting energy companies to bring some workers to Ohio from other states. Reda predicts about 30 percent of new jobs created in Ohio’s oil and natural gas fields will be filled by workers from outside Ohio.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook



Stories with Recent Comments

U.S. Postal Service plans to close its sorting center in Akron
May as well close the center. I don't understand why they didn't do away with saturday mail a long time ago. We don't get our mail until sometimes 8pm, and in ...

The postal workers union is challenging mail-sorting closures in Ohio
Do not close the akron facilaty for mail processing. This will severly deminish mail service to the northeast ohio area, Cleveland can not handle this burden.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park OK's sharpshooters to thin deer herds
In this article you mention that the Mule Deer Foundation is a "hunting group" in reality the Mule Deer Foundation is a conservation group that is over 25 years...

Clarence Bozeman: In the driver's seat of history
I believe he was a teacher of mine as James Ford Rhodes. My favorite teacher of all time! Loved learning this part of his amazing history.

Cleveland RTA is moving Public Square bus stops beginning this week
I am very confused. Why are you taking one or more of the park and ride 246 out of service in the morning. I looking over the new schedule I see that there ar...

Canton school board will vote Wednesday on its high school merger
Great to see that THE REPOSITORY is advising a 'no' vote for now! Another point, besides all the Very accurate points already made against this move is the fac...

Some parents opting their students out of Common Core test
I am an 8th grader at a school in Allen County. I have just recently taken the ELA performance based assessment and found it extremely difficult. It asked me a ...

Fallout from the Ohio Supreme Court Munroe Falls ruling
The comment by Nathan Johnson from OEC is confusing. Instead of cities being 'emboldened' to craft zoning laws that were just stricken down by this ruling, comm...

Stopping sediment dumping in Lake Erie
Ah, yes, the Army Coro of Engineers, the geniuses that designed the levee system in New Orleans that has made the flooding worse due to no sediment reaching the...

Ohio charter school critic says reform bills are a good step
The cold truth is that these charter schools are offering services beyond the what the state tests can guage. Parents and students have a choice and they are ch...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University