Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Business

Hiring hurdle: finding workers who can pass a drug test

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A few years back, heavy-equipment manufacturer JCB held a job fair at its sprawling headquarters, but when a throng of prospective employees learned the next step would be drug testing, an alarming thing happened: About half of them left.

All over the country, employers say they see a disturbing downside of tighter labor markets as they try to rebuild from the worst recession since the Depression: They are struggling to find workers who can pass a pre-employment drug test.

Data suggest employers' difficulties reflect an increase in the use of drugs, especially marijuana — employers' main gripe — and also heroin and other opioid drugs much in the news.

Ray Gaster, owner of lumber yards on both sides of the Georgia-South Carolina border, recently joined friends at a retreat in Alabama to swap business talk. The big topic? Drug tests.

"They were complaining about trying to find drivers, or finding people, who are drug-free and can do some of the jobs that they have," Gaster said.

Drug use in the workforce "is not a new problem. Back in the '80s, it was pretty bad, and we brought it down," said Calvina L. Fay, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation. But, she added, "We've seen it edging back up some," and increasingly, both employers and industry associations "have expressed exasperation."

In its most recent report, Quest Diagnostics, which has compiled employer-testing data since 1988, documented an increase for a second consecutive year in the percentage of U.S. workers who tested positive for illicit drugs — to 4.7 percent in 2014 from 4.3 percent in 2013. And 2013 was the first year in a decade to show an increase.

Comments
Where to get a good hot dog in Tampa Bay for National Hot Dog Day

Where to get a good hot dog in Tampa Bay for National Hot Dog Day

Monday, July 23, is National Hot Dog Day. I don’t know precisely why, but I think some major lobbying from the sausage board was involved. It’s baseball season, it’s barbecue season, it’s I-don’t-feel-like-cooking season. Those are plenty of reasons....
Updated: 1 hour ago
Kahwa to be served in up to 130 Publix cafes

Kahwa to be served in up to 130 Publix cafes

Two popular local brands are combining forces: Kahwa announced today it’s partnering with Publix to serve its coffee and lattes in 130 store cafes.The first to roll out are in Bradenton and Winter Garden Publix stores, but the locations will expand a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Housing starts tumbled 12.3 percent in June

Housing starts tumbled 12.3 percent in June

Associated PressWASHINGTON — U.S. homebuilders sharply curtailed the pace of construction in June as housing starts plummeted 12.3 percent. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that housing starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 m...
Updated: 2 hours ago
EU fines Google a record $5 billion over mobile system

EU fines Google a record $5 billion over mobile system

BRUSSELS — The European Union fined Google a record $5 billion Wednesday for using the market dominance of its Android mobile operating system to force handset makers to install Google apps, reducing choice for consumers.EU Competition Commissioner M...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Past mistakes hamper Clearwater’s effort to revive downtown business incentives

Past mistakes hamper Clearwater’s effort to revive downtown business incentives

CLEARWATER — One year after the city’s boldest incentive program yet failed to secure a single business deal for downtown and caused confusion among applicants, the guidelines are being scrapped and rewritten to leave less room for misinterpretation....
Updated: 5 hours ago
Tired of fast food? Maybe there’ll be an Armature Works-like hall in Trinity

Tired of fast food? Maybe there’ll be an Armature Works-like hall in Trinity

TRINITY — New Jersey-based M&M Realty Partners has a contract to develop the remaining 300 acres of the Mitchell 54 West project at State Road 54 and Little Road.Land owner Dewey Mitchell shared the information July 11 with a North Tampa Bay Chamber ...
Published: 07/18/18
Pinellas County Commission shows support for CrossBay Ferry

Pinellas County Commission shows support for CrossBay Ferry

CLEARWATER –– The ferry that once linked St. Petersburg and Tampa downtowns took one step closer to returning in November.While the Pinellas County Commission didn’t approve spending money to help pay for the CrossBay Ferry during a meeting Tuesday, ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Louisiana shipbuilder hopes to bring 1,000 jobs to Tampa shipyard through Coast Guard icebreaker program

Louisiana shipbuilder hopes to bring 1,000 jobs to Tampa shipyard through Coast Guard icebreaker program

TAMPA — Tampa Ship could welcome more than 1,000 new shipbuilding jobs if Louisiana-based Bollinger Shipyards wins a major contract to build up to six Coast Guard polar icebreakers.Bollinger could start staffing up at Tampa Ship, which has 62 acres a...
Published: 07/17/18
Robert Traurig, who helped build one of the world’s largest law firms, dies at 93

Robert Traurig, who helped build one of the world’s largest law firms, dies at 93

Robert Traurig helped build one of the largest law firms in the world and, in so doing, swept Miami-Dade County upward.Brickell Avenue skyscrapers. Open-air malls like Cocowalk in Coconut Grove. Residential communities on the edge of the Everglades. ...
Published: 07/17/18
Hard Rock announces new hotel in Ireland in 2020

Hard Rock announces new hotel in Ireland in 2020

Hard Rock International is expanding across the pond. The Seminole Tribe-owned casino and hotel chain announced Tuesday that it will open a Hard Rock Hotel Dublin in 2020, its first hotel in Ireland. It will partner with Irish hotel company Tifco Lim...
Published: 07/17/18