HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – Democrats are pouring criticism on Gov. Tom Corbett for suggesting that Pennsylvania’s sluggish job growth stems partly from too many applicants being unable to pass a drug test.
In an interview with PAMatters.com on Monday, the Republican governor cites anecdotal evidence the drug testing issue is part of the reason Pennsylvania’s March unemployment rate exceeded the 7.6 percent national rate.
He says there are “many employers that say we’re looking for people but we can’t find anybody that has passed a drug test.”
That prompted criticism from state Treasurer Rob McCord, who charges that Corbett doesn’t understand the economy or the nature of unemployment.
McCord, who’s considered a likely candidate for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, says “it’s not rocket science, but it seems to elude” Corbett.
Leigha is a staffing specialist for a temporary employment service with corporate locations across the country.
Her job is to interview and drug test potential employees for employers who outsource her company for help.
She explained that all companies use different standards over their policies on drug testing, but her service company requires anyone who applies for a job to undergo a drug test. They hold their corporation at a higher standard and do not want to hire anyone for their businesses who has a drug problem.
“Sadly, he’s [Gov. Tom Corbett] is right, even in Ohio it’s the same thing,” said Leigha. “People continue to come in time and time again just to fail a drug test after they plead with me that they’re desperate for a job.”
She continued that she’s even up front with her clients and explains that their company requires a drug test. She hopes that this will allow them to be up-front and honest with her if they are suffering with a drug problem.
After hearing about a drug test, a few may get up and walk out, but the majority continue with the interview just to fail the drug test after.
Across the country, Leigha agreed that other employees working for her company probably do experience the same thing she does. Her company upholds a reputable name by ensuring all their businesses with employees who are not on drugs.
She said that it’s not just a liability for someone to be hired who uses drugs, but it’s also a danger to that person and those around them.
“The most common thing I see is marijuana, THC,” said Leigha. “But I’ve seen everything from the opiates, to heroin, to crack cocaine, everything, but the most I see is marijuana.”
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