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Tacoma-based TrueBlue partners with Uber to create virtual temp agency app

Parker Miles Blohm

A Tacoma-based company is partnering with Uber to give people a new way to find work on demand. It's an app that serves as a virtual temp agency — offering shifts in a variety of industries. 

The new app is called UberWorks. It pairs businesses that need to fill extra shifts with available workers. Instead of going to a staffing agency and waiting to see whether they pick up a shift, people can search for opportunities through the tech company known for picking up riders. 

While it bears the Uber name, a Tacoma-based company called TrueBlue is a big part of the venture. It’s been in the business of finding people temp work for decades. 

"It gives the worker a lot of flexibility in that blue collar space," said Eric Feinberg with TrueBlue. "It gives the customers an amazing advantage to get workers when they need them unexpectedly or need to have extra workers come in the peaks and valleys." 

Turns out TrueBlue already does this virtual matchmaking between employers and workers with its own app called JobStack, which is available in Washington and across the county. It could be anything from food prep to loading boxes at a warehouse.

For now the Uber workforce app is only available in Chicago. The role of TrueBlue is to employ the workers and pay them after they book jobs on the app. 

Will Stone is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.