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

Phoenix’ 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.

In addition to the $1 million award, Phoenix’ Mobile Career Unit initiative also 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 is to decrease unemployment, while boosting confidence. The MCU is the only service in Phoenix acts as this kind of mobile career “hotspot.”

The 15 global winners are being recognized for designing the boldest and most ambitious urban innovations to emerge from the global COVID-19 pandemic. The winning ideas address one or more of four current issue areas in cities including economic recovery and inclusive growth; health and wellbeing; climate and environment; and gender and equality.


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