THE KEYSTONED State struck close to home for Gov. Corbett.

In fact, it was the Governor's Residence, the Harrisburg mansion in which he has lived since 2011.

Corbett, speaking yesterday to the PennLive editorial board in Harrisburg, repeated his oft-maligned claim that Pennsylvania companies can't fill jobs because they can't find applicants willing or able to pass drug tests.

One big problem: The business group Corbett cites when making that claim released an employer survey this summer that raised serious questions about his facts.

We'll come back to that.

Corbett, who has relied on anecdotal evidence when talking about drug testing, did so again yesterday. He spoke of a woman who applied for a job at the Governor's Residence two years ago.

"We were ready to give somebody a job who really needed it," he said. "The night after we told her that she was going to get the job - but I guess we hadn't told her she had to pass a drug test - she celebrated. She came back in the next day and we said, 'You have to take a drug test,' and she said, 'I can't. Isn't that sad?' "

Corbett reminded the PennLive journalists: "You all took shots at me when I said this a couple of years ago."

That's a reference to stories written after Corbett said in an April 2013 interview that employers "can't find anybody that has passed a drug test."

Corbett cited anecdotal information from the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association, which backed up his claim.

The PMA this year hired a polling firm, which surveyed 200 executives from manufacturing businesses in the state.

That firm's report concluded: "For most companies, drug testing did not lead to a large percentage of potential employees refusing to take a drug test or show up for a drug test."

It also said that "a small percentage failed to pass the test."

The report still called the low percentages a "red flag and a real concern" for employers, who reported that 19 percent of applicants refused to take drug tests and 16 percent failed them.

Corbett is trailing Democratic challenger Tom Wolf by double digits in recent polling, with the Nov. 4 general election less than three weeks away.

Wolf runs a company in York that supplies kitchen cabinets.

A political-action committee that Wolf founded to help defeat Corbett seized upon the governor's new comments on drug tests.

Corbett's campaign responded by noting that Wolf's company website says this about career opportunities: "Drug Free Work Environment-Pre-employment Drug Screen Required."

Blog: ph.ly/PhillyClout.com