Job seekers fill the waiting area of one of Chicago’s many staffing companies, hoping to be selected for temp work in a factory, warehouse or food-processing plant. Credit: Chip Mitchell/WBEZ

The first modern industrial staffing company was founded 70 years ago in Chicago. Today, the city and its suburbs are ground zero for blue-collar temp work, with about 900 registered temp offices.

But many black workers are convinced they’re not getting their share of the work.

From WBEZ, reporter Chip Mitchell tells the story of a labor organizer who’s pushing what would be the nation’s first law addressing temp-work discrimination. To get the bill passed, he says he needs some temp workers to make a big sacrifice.

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Julia B. Chan worked at The Center for Investigative Reporting until June, 2017. Julia B. Chan is a producer and the digital editor for Reveal's national public radio program. She’s the voice of Reveal online and manages the production and curation of digital story assets that are sent to more than 200 stations across the country. Previously, Chan helped The Center for Investigative Reporting launch YouTube’s first investigative news channel, The I Files, and led engagement strategies – online and off – for multimedia projects. She oversaw communications, worked to better connect CIR’s work with a bigger audience and developed creative content and collaborations to garner conversation and impact.

Before joining CIR, Chan worked as a Web editor and reporter at the San Francisco Examiner. She managed the newspaper’s digital strategy and orchestrated its first foray into social media and online engagement. A rare San Francisco native, she studied broadcasting at San Francisco State University, focusing on audio production and recording. Chan is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.