S.F. Mayor Edwin M. LeeSAN FRANCISCO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — SF Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced San Francisco has been selected as a finalist for the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, a competition created to inspire United States cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges, improve city life and can be shared with other cities across the nation.

San Francisco was selected based on its innovative idea to promote workforce development and experience-based training through opportunities to volunteer on City projects. San Francisco’s City Job Works will reduce unemployment while increasing government capacity by matching job seekers with professional development opportunities through micro-volunteering on City government projects.

“San Francisco is honored to be among the finalists to compete for the $5 million Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge prize that could help our residents get back to work,” said Mayor Lee. “Across our country, unemployment is still too high, and our City Job Works initiative creates opportunities for unemployed residents by matching them with government projects that might have been left unfulfilled due to a lack of funding or human capital. It’s a win-win for our City.”

San Francisco will now compete against 19 other cities across the country for the $5 million grand prize or one of four additional prizes of $1 million each.

A team from San Francisco will attend Bloomberg Ideas Camp, a two-day gathering in New York City in November during which city teams will work collaboratively with each other and experts to further refine their ideas. Coming out of Camp, the San Francisco team will have access to additional technical support to prepare their ideas for final submission. Winners will be announced in spring 2013, with a total of $9 million going to five cities to jumpstart implementation of their ideas.

“Congratulations to Mayor Lee and the City of San Francisco for becoming a Mayors Challenge finalist,” said James Anderson, who directs the Government Innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The response to the Mayors Challenge was extraordinary: bold and innovative ideas were submitted from every corner of the country. We look forward to welcoming the San Francisco team to Ideas Camp.”

The 20 finalist ideas were rated on four key criteria: vision/creativity, ability to implement, potential for impact, and potential for replication. A specially-assembled selection committee, co-chaired by Shona Brown, Senior Vice President and head of, and Ron Daniel, Bloomberg Philanthropies board member and Former Managing Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he is still active, helped select the finalist cities.

About the Mayors Challenge:
Mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more were eligible to compete in the Mayors Challenge. 305 cities representing 45 states across the country submitted applications by September 14, 2012. The Mayors Challenge is the latest initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Project, which aims to spread proven and promising ideas among cities. Other Mayors Project investments include Cities of Service, Innovation Delivery Teams, and Financial Empowerment Centers. To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, go to: