WV Governor: The Next Step Toward Ending Substance Abuse
Starting a new business isn’t easy. There is a lot that happens between the initial planning phase and earning the first dollar. Once someone comes up with an idea for a company, they develop a business plan, delve into finances, licensing, and many other legalities in order to get off the ground and on the map. It requires a tremendous amount of commitment and dedication. It’s not an easy process, and it’s often one with many obstacles along the way.
As I have travelled and met with business owners throughout the Mountain State, I have been told time and again that our workforce has the skills necessary for the jobs available but one of the main obstacles businesses face is finding qualified candidates who can pass a drug test. When prospective employees fail to pass a simple pre-employment drug screening, the individual and the business owner both suffer. This scenario has played out far too often, and it must stop.
Thousands of West Virginians looking for employment go through Workforce West Virginia, a division of the state Department of Commerce each year. Workforce West Virginia provides a vital service for our state; they offer numerous training programs and a database for employees and employers to connect. Many folks receive these free services and then they fail the employer’s drug screening and can’t be hired.
As a solution, I signed Executive Order 8-12 which requires Workforce West Virginia, to require drug testing before providing services to those seeking employment. This change will save taxpayer dollars by ensuring participants in Workforce West Virginia’s training are drug-free and ready to work.
I believe we are making great progress towards ridding our state of substance abuse. Last September, I created the Governor’s Advisory Council on Substance Abuse and six regional task forces. The council and the task forces include doctors, dentists, pharmacists, business leaders, state, county and city officials, and citizens from around the state who identify the specific problems in their communities and offer suggested policy changes to end this epidemic. The task forces acted quickly. In fact, many of their recommendations were included in the recent substance abuse bill I recently signed into law. This new executive order requiring drug testing for Workforce West Virginia participants is just the next phase in my fight against substance abuse.
I believe my executive order will save our taxpayers money, alleviate headaches for business owners and make it easier for folks looking for work to find a job. You can count on me to continue fighting to rid our state of substance abuse for our workforce and business owners of today and tomorrow. To learn more about the programs available at Workforce West Virginia visit www.workforce.wv.org.