South Bend Named 'Champion City' in Nationwide Contest

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South Bend is one of 35 cities selected as finalists in the 2018 U.S. Mayors Challenge. The nationwide competition encourages cities to "uncover bold, inventive ideas that confront the toughest problems cities face."

As a finalist, South Bend advances to the six-month "Test, Learn, and Adapt" phase of the competition, during which it will receive up to $100,000 to refine its ideas and receive personalized support from innovation experts. The proposal from South Bend centers around a lack of reliable and affordable transportation from workers.

The city says at least 35 percent of low-income workers cite a lack of reliable transportation as the main barrier to finding and maintaining employment.

"Our idea will help residents adapt to a changing job market," said Brian Donoghue, director of civic innovation for the city of South Bend. "As jobs get to be more on-demand, employers and employees experience new challenges. This collaboration will unlock wins for employers, employees, and the community as a whole."

After the test phase is complete, the city will submit a new application in August. In October, four cities will receive awards of $1 million and one will earn a $5 million grand prize to bring their ideas to fruition.

The U.S. Mayors Challenge is a product of New York-based Bloomberg Philanthropies. You can learn more about the competition by clicking here.

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