The California Department of Technology (CDT) and the Office of Digital Innovation (ODI) will support the strike team, which will be headed by Yolanda Richardson and Jennifer Pahka.
Richardson is the Secretary of Government Operations Agency while Pahka is the co-founder of United States Digital Response and the Code for America.
According to Gov. Newsom, the strike team will create a plan for improvements at EDD including modernizing its information technology programs and transforming the unemployment insurance customer experience for the digital age.
Gov. Newsom also says that the EDD is actively focusing on immediately processing claims. The department is prioritizing the oldest claims, particularly the nearly one million in the “Pending Resolution” category that may be eligible for payments but still needing additional information including verification of the identity of the filer.
Gov. Newsom is expecting the EDD to eliminate the backlog by the end of September.
Since March when the COVID-19 pandemic started, the EDD has processed a total of 9.3 million claims and released a total of $55.1 million in unemployment benefits to California workers.