W.Va. begins drug testing workforce trainees

CHARLESTON (AP) — West Virginia has begun drug testing people who seek job training through federally funded programs.

Acting WorkForce West Virginia Director Russell Fry told lawmakers on Monday that the screenings debuted July 16.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered the testing in April, citing a frequent complaint from employees seeking workers. It screens for 10 categories of drugs.  The results are confidential and can be appealed.

Fry said Health Research Systems successfully bid for the one-year testing contract. The company has offices in West Virginia and Ohio. It already performs screening for county schools and the state Department of Transportation.

Job-seekers must pass a test before joining programs funded by the U.S. Workforce Investment Act and emergency grants. Fry said it does not apply to other workforce programs, or to unemployment benefits.

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