March 23, 2017

Clermont County collects data for drug-free workforce initiative

BATAVIA, Ohio (March 22, 2017) – In an effort to address the safety and economic threat of drug abuse in the workplace, organizations in Clermont County are partnering with Working Partners® to launch the Working Partners® Drug-Free Workforce Community Initiative. A critical element of this Initiative is the collection of data to assess business perceptions, attitudes, knowledge and practices as they relate to preventing and addressing substance abuse in the workplace/workforce.  Initiative leadership recently began the process of collecting this data through the Business and Community Leader Surveys.

The surveys will gather information about the perceived prevalence and impact of substance abuse on the workplace/workforce; the perceived quality and quantity of the community’s workforce; the extent that components of a drug-free workplace program are being administered (e.g., policy, testing, education/training, assistance); prevalence of job seekers and employees testing positive for drugs; attitudes and practices around offering second chances to job seekers and employees who test positive; knowledge of community-helping resources; and attitudes about substance abuse prevention and treatment.

“We are thrilled to have communities across the state collecting data that will help fuel the Initiative’s overall goal which is to increase an employable, drug-free workforce in Ohio,” said Dee Mason, founder and CEO of Working Partners®. “The data we plan to collect through these surveys has not been gathered before on a statewide level, nor does it exist in the country.  It will give us an accurate picture of each county and the data needed to provide necessary recourses where they will be most impactful.”

The initiative was brought to the county by the Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board through a $20,000 grant provided by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.  The local initiative is led through a collaboration of the CCMHRB, Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services, and the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce.

The Business Survey is being distributed to a representative sample of local businesses and other  organizations and completed by leaders with strong infrastructure knowledge about their companies or organizations. The Community Leader Survey will be distributed to community leaders who have insight into the issues and needs of the county’s business community. Survey data will be supplemented with secondary data and used to compile a community report that will guide the effort to develop a strong, drug-free workforce in Clermont County.

“We realize that these surveys will provide critical data for our community report and we are working hard to get input from as many meaningful respondents as we can,” said Clermont County Commissioner Ed Humphrey, who is a member of the Initiative. “This data will help bring to light the issues we face in our community and help us tackle this issue in a focused way and have a true impact.” 

OhioMHAS and Working Partners® have developed a public-private partnership to move the Working Partners® Drug-Free Workforce Community Initiative forward throughout the state. The initiative will support local employment strategies related to drug-free workplaces. OhioMHAS has provided funding for 17 local communities to work with Working Partners® to convene and coordinate stakeholders to assess specific community needs and develop local action plans to develop strong local drug-free workforces by employing a variety of best practices that meet these needs.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Andrea Paul-Taylor, GCBHS, apaultaylor@gcbhs.com or 513-354-7197.