Phoenix puts pedal to the metal in jobs drive with mobile career van

Nov 2, 2021, 4:15 AM

PHOENIX – City leaders in Phoenix have rolled out their entry in a worldwide challenge designed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic — vans that bring together job seekers and employers.

The mobile career unit idea landed Phoenix among the cities competing for $1 million in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2021 Global Mayors’ Challenge.

The list of 50 was to be narrowed to 15 cities, each finalist earning a million-dollar prize.

Phoenix’s submission focused on economic recovery and inclusive growth.

“We learned during COVID, when we sent out vans to do testing, that there are many people who really appreciated being at their church, their kids school, in their local library,” Mayor Kate Gallego said in a press release.

“We’re doing the same thing with jobs.”

The service provides computer access, career counseling, child care help, mock interviews and even on-the-spot interviews.

The van has already made stops in parking lots at Burton Barr Library and grocery stores.

“So many people are in transition now, and it’s my hope as mayor that people will get a chance to be in jobs that are incredibly fulfilling,” Gallego said.

The challenge began in June; winners will be announced early next year.

Other American cities on the list include Long Beach, California; Baltimore; Lansing, Michigan; and New Orleans.

International cities include Cape Town, South Africa; La Paz, Bolivia; London; Manila, Philippines; Paris; and Rio de Janeiro.

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Phoenix puts pedal to the metal in jobs drive with mobile career van