LIMA — Many employers — especially in manufacturing — are feeling the pinch of a lack of good employees, and part of that is the fact that otherwise qualified candidates may often fail a drug test.
With companies’ drug-free policies, that often means they won’t be hired, said Michael Schoenhofer, executive director of the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties.
That’s why Shoenhofer presented information at the West Central Ohio Safety Council meeting on Tuesday morning about a program through his board, We Care At Work, which encourages, and assists, businesses in offering employees who fail a second chance.
About 120 people attended the meeting, which included information about the increased rate of positive drug tests in the workplace, legalized marijuana and prescription drug abuse, along with information about We Care At Work, a program to “grow a drug-free workforce.”
The program, started two years ago, pays for new policy development and guides employers through crafting a policy, Shoenhofer said.
Then, the company can offer applicants who failed the test the opportunity to get help and then get another chance at the job, he said.
“This person has the chance to work in a place they want to work, the company gets a good employee,” he said. “We’re engaging someone early in their substance abuse.”
Implementing the program takes time, but Shoenhofer is hoping to get more businesses interested in trying it.
Karen Pierce, managing director of training and policy development with Working Partners, spoke to the West Central Ohio Safety Council on Tuesday about current drug trends and their impact on the workplace.
The number of positive drug tests in the workplace have risen significantly in recent years, and solutions include referring applicants who test positive to programs, creating policies and programs that support employers who offer second chances, and forming community partnerships, she said.
Right now, part of the approach to getting a drug-free workplace is bringing businesses together, Pierce said.
“Taking this on as a community I think is a new thing for this area and this state,” she said.
Reach Danae King at 567-242-0511 or on Twitter @DanaeKing.