Phoenix is 1 of 15 Cities to Win Global Mayors Challenge

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the City of Phoenix as one of 15 cities awarded $1 million in the 2021-2022 Global Mayors Challenge. The worldwide innovation competition supports and spreads the boldest and most ambitious urban ideas that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Winners were selected from 50 Champion Cities that spent the past four months rigorously testing and refining their projects. The winning ideas address one or more of four current issue areas in cities, including economic recovery and inclusive growth; health and well-being; climate and environment; and gender and equality. When the competition launched in January 2021, mayors from 631 cities in 99 countries submitted their ideas.

Phoenix’s award-winning innovation is a data-directed Mobile Career Unit (MCU) that helps unemployed residents overcome barriers and obtain employment. The MCU connects hiring employers with jobseekers, right in their neighborhoods, filling job vacancies and providing access to employment services.

“Global talent shortages are at a 15-year high, with one in three employers citing difficulty filling jobs. So, in Phoenix, we got creative and focused on coming up with new ways for employers and job seekers to connect,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “Pilots of the Mobile Career Unit have successfully demonstrated it provides employers with skilled talent and results in ‘on the spot’ hires. This innovative approach holds great promise for getting the people of Phoenix into good jobs, and I believe it will serve as a model for communities around the world.”

In addition to the $1 million award, Phoenix’s MCU initiative will receive technical support and coaching over three years. A targeted ZIP code focus is coupled with quantitative and qualitative data to determine areas in Phoenix that most need assistance. Offering trainings, interview opportunities (virtual and in-person), translation, career counseling and supplemental supportive services, the goals of the MCU are to decrease unemployment while boosting confidence. The MCU is the only service in Phoenix that acts as this kind of mobile career “hotspot.”

“As the world works to address the profound public health and economic effects of the ongoing pandemic, cities can implement innovative ideas at a pace that national governments simply can’t match,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg L.P. and 108th Mayor of New York City. “Our 15 winners offer bold, achievable plans to improve health, reduce unemployment, empower women and more. Collectively, they have the potential to improve millions of their residents’ lives — and the most successful solutions will inspire cities around the world to embrace them.”

About Julie Coleman

Julie Coleman is a contributing writer for Frontdoors Media. She is Principal of Julie Coleman Consulting, providing strategic philanthropy consulting services for individuals, families, businesses, foundations and nonprofit organizations.
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