New challenge for manufacturers

March 18, 2014 Updated Mar 18, 2014 at 11:21 AM EDT

By Business First

March 18, 2014 Updated Mar 18, 2014 at 11:21 AM EDT

Area manufacturing plants are facing a new challenge as they try to find trained, qualified machinists and welders.

A report in this week's Business First says once qualified candidates are identified, it's only half the battle because many don't show up for work on time or can't pass a drug test. The Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance says this is a growing problem and a
frustrating situation that manufacturers encounter daily.

Some area companies with zero-tolerance drug policies have switched to hair testing rather than urine testing for more accurate drug testing results. Safety is the main reason these facilities needs to be drug-free. You can read more about the issue in this week's Business First.

St. Patrick's Day is behind us and it was evident over the weekend that Buffalo knows how to celebrate its Irish heritage. Now that is confirmed in a new report. Business First broke down numbers from the 2012 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau to identify the most Irish areas in the country. Boston tops the ranking, with nearly 18 percent Irish residents. Philadelphia is next, followed by Providence, then Pittsburgh. Buffalo comes in at number five with nearly 11 percent Irish residents.

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