PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

6/18/2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 061821-3
Subject:
Long Beach Named as Finalist in Bloomberg Philanthropies 2021 Global Mayors Challenge
Long Beach among 50 Champion Cities Selected to Advance in Global Innovation Competition Uncovering Most Transformative Urban Solutions to Emerge During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Contact:
City of Long Beach Joint Information Center
562.570.NEWS
jic@longbeach.gov





Long Beach, CA – Long Beach is one of 50 Champion Cities selected on June 15, 2021, as finalists in the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge, a global innovation competition that identifies and accelerates the most ambitious ideas developed by cities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These 50 urban innovations rose to the top of a competitive pool of more than 630 applications from 99 countries, in the first-ever Global Mayors Challenge.

As a Mayors Challenge finalist, the City of Long Beach now advances to the four-month Champion Phase of the competition. From June through October, the 50 finalist cities will refine their ideas with technical assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its network of leading innovation experts. Fifteen of the 50 cities will ultimately win the grand prize, with each receiving $1 million and robust multi-year technical assistance to implement and scale their ideas. Grand Prize Winners will be announced in early 2022.

“These 50 finalists are showing the world that in the face of the pandemic’s enormous challenges, cities are rising to meet them with bold, innovative, and ambitious ideas,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City. “By helping these cities test their ideas over the coming months, we will have a chance to identify cutting-edge policies and programs that can allow cities to rebuild in ways that make them stronger and healthier, and more equal and more just.”

The City of Long Beach is being recognized by Bloomberg Philanthropies for its innovative, app-based WorkLB program, which was implemented in 2020 as a workforce service platform to connect workers and employers across a variety of sectors with personalized employment opportunities.

“It is an honor to be recognized as a finalist in this challenge,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “As a city, we are committed to the most inclusive recovery possible. WorkLB enables that by targeting the talents of our unemployed and underemployed that are needed to help rebuild our local economy.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, residents working in service occupations experienced unequal impacts to business owners and workers in service sectors requiring face-to-face interaction, resulting in 150,000 unemployment insurance claims and representing 60% of all claims filed by Long Beach residents since January 2020. WorkLB was created to meet the needs of matching unemployed and underemployed workers to immediate employment opportunities in the five most critical sectors, including Accommodation and Food Service, Retail Trade, Health Care and Social Assistance, Administrative and Support, and Manufacturing, to restore the Long Beach economy.

The City now proposes to expand and refine WorkLB through four design sessions including unemployed, underemployed and employer input and data analytics, which will enhance the user experience and streamline the next iteration of WorkLB. Developed with a racial equity framework, through WorkLB many of the diverse populations, including Black, Latinx, Cambodian, People of Color, and justice involved workers, who typically experience the highest rates of unemployment in Long Beach, are matched with employment sectors with the most demand for workers. WorkLB has already been recognized as a leader in the nation, as the planning for this program won the 2018 United States Conference of Mayor’s prize for the most promising economic development initiative in America.

The 50 Champion Cities submitted ideas addressing four of the most significant challenges borne of the pandemic: Economic Recovery & Inclusive Growth; Health & Wellbeing; Climate & Environment; and Good Governance & Equality. A prestigious selection committee co-chaired by Bloomberg Philanthropies board member Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO & President, Ariel Investments, and David Miliband, President & CEO, International Rescue Committee, assessed the applications to determine the Champion City finalists.

“This is always an especially exciting phase of the Mayors Challenge, helping mayors push their innovations to even greater heights," said James Anderson, head of Government Innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies. "While 15 cities will ultimately take home grand prizes, all 50 cities receive world class coaching and support to improve their ideas and their potential to improve lives." 

The 2021 Global Mayors Challenge builds on the success of four previous Bloomberg-sponsored Challenges in the U.S. (2013 and 2018), Europe (2014), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016). For more information, visit mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.

About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 170 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.

For more information about the City of Long Beach, visit http://longbeach.gov/. Follow us on social to keep up with the latest news: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $600 million. For more information, please visit www.bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook,Instagram,Snapchat, andTwitter.

Media Contact
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Ty Trippet, ttrippet@bloomberg.com.