Drug use prevents many from working in the Utica shale | bakken.com

Jobs in Ohio’s Utica shale region are plentiful, but many potential hires are having difficulty passing pre-employment drug tests, according to a report by Columbus Business First.Working with heavy and valuable machinery on other people’s property generally requires employer-mandated drug testing. Substances like marijuana aren’t usually the issue, but rather narcotics such as prescription pain killers and heroin that are most common.Tom Knox reports:“It’s not necessarily an unemployment issue, it’s an unemployable issue,” Rhonda Reda, executive director of the industry-funded Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program [OOGEEP], told me. “In many cases we are seeing folks that have gone through training programs, are ready for employment, and they’re failing drugs tests. And it’s becoming pretty significant.”Reda feels frustration because the oil and gas industry tests for drug use before employment, as well as having ongoing drug tests. She also denies tales about oil and gas workers being responsible for trafficking drugs into communities.She continued on to say that potential hires shouldn’t be blindsided by testing. OOGEEP has offered about 300 public presentations in the last 18 months which routinely address the issue of drug testing at the workplace. Many people do pass drug tests, however, and are able to maintain employment at the over 6,000 oil and gas jobs created in Ohio since 2013.

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