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.

Levin Furniture

Meaden & Moore

Greater Akron Chamber


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

Ohio becomes first in the nation to dump PARCC testing
Best test to use for elementary schools is the old pre common core Iowa test of basic skills. This test measures apples to apples and tests the skills appropri...

Ohio is moving forward with new standardized tests
Mr Chow, Nice piece on testing. Should not Ohio go to an open bid process for the new assessment contract? Ohio has stayed with a "connected" DC non-profit fo...

The Surpreme Court gay-marriage decision plays out in Ohio Amish country
Keep in mind that the majority of the people residing in Holmes County are Amish, a church people who do not vote because they do not believe in governmental ru...

Akron council committee recommends Forney for its opening
Which committee member voted for Wilhite?

Nearly a dozen Cuyahoga gay couples get licenses to marry after the Supreme Court ruling
Presiding Judge Anthony J. Russo a graduate of Chanel High School and supposed member of St. Francis Parish in Gates Mills has just excommunicated himself. As ...

Canton Youth Symphony is named orchestra of the year
This is what makes CSO the hippest small town orchestra in America!

What can be expected if Ohio's tobacco taxes increase?
let's face it! The increase has little to do with smoking cessation

Rare Cleveland Indians photo from 1911 hits the auction block
Paddy Livingston, who cut his teeth on a Louisville Slugger in Kent, Ohio was one of the immortals that played in that game. He was the catcher. Ty Cobb actuall...

Nexus denies Green's request to relocate its planned gas pipeline
These people have so much power. Too much. They could care less about the people they leave when it is done. Spectra does not, and admits, they do not do the...

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