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Expanding temp-labor firm opens in Medford

Labor Ready, the nation's largest provider of temporary workers for manual labor jobs, has opened a store at 830 Crater Lake Ave., Medford.

It's one of 160 offices the company plans to open in the next six months. The company already has 350 stores in 42 states that generated more than $300 million in revenue last year. The company is based in Tacoma, Wash.

Workers typically register in the morning, are assigned to jobs and paid the same day. A typical store handles 40 to 200 workers daily.

Labor Ready places workers in such jobs as farms, assembly lines, construction, hotel, kitchen or maintenance work and janitorial services.

A news release from the company explains that although the jobless rate is low, there's still a group of people who remain unemployed. They often don't have cars that can take them to a job. Labor Ready provides transportation to the job site.

Our guys come in at 5 o'clock in the morning, said Medford store manager Bud Alston. It's like an old union labor hall. They watch TV, drink coffee and eat doughnuts until they're dispatched to the job.

Office hours are from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and 6-10 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. on Saturdays. The telephone number is 779-4565.

Workers are on call around the clock, Alston said.

We work 24 hours a day, he added. I have guys out here this afternoon who will work all night long.

Alston was previously with the North Portland Labor Ready office.

On Sundays the office is technically closed, but we'll be open the next couple of weeks because we have jobs to fill, he said. We'll switch to a seven-day operation in the summer.

He said the office provides a guarantee it will get workers onto a job in a specified time, inside Medford or within an hour's drive.