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Ohio factory co-owner says they're having trouble hiring because applicants keep failing drug tests

Posted: 12:08 PM, Jul 31, 2017
Updated: 2017-07-31 12:08:17-04

There are plenty of job openings at a factory in Warren, Ohio but the company's co-owner says she's having trouble hiring. 

That's because so many of the people that apply for the job are failing drug tests. 

Regina Mitchell of Warren Fabricating and Machining Co. told CNN 4 in 10 otherwise qualified applicants for welding, machinist and crane operating jobs are turned away. 

She says it points to a bigger crisis. 

"It's this opioid epidemic that we're experiencing both in Ohio in our Mahoning Valley, it seems like it's worse than in other places all over the country," she said. "I have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment for my employees. I have a responsibility to my customers to build quality products, so I need employees who are engaged in their work while they're here, of sound mind and doing the best possible job that they can, and keeping their fellow co-workers safe at all times."

Opioid use is spiking across the country, but especially in Ohio. 

In 2014, the state reported the second largest number of opioid-linked deaths in the U.S. and the fifth highest overdose rate.