As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, enterprises and government agencies alike were forced to mobilize and address a wide variety of internal hurdles and sudden drastic changes in external engagement. On the heels of the outbreak, New York State (NYS) was one of the first states that was impacted, and in response it quickly established a COVID-19 Technology ‘SWAT’ Team led by the Office of Information Technology Services (ITS). The Tech SWAT effort recruited private sector experts to work pro-bono on critical projects, assist in developing new applications, and help NYS employees build the new technical skills necessary for responding to the crisis.
Twenty-three TCS volunteers rose to the occasion, partnering with the New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) to troubleshoot and help process pending unemployment insurance applications – giving citizens across the state support in their immediate, day-to-day financial needs.
The volunteers went through an intensive fast-tracked onboarding, and in just five days were able to start reviewing and processing what would ultimately be 3,500 unemployment cases – contributing 550+ hours of combined service and offering invaluable feedback that helped create operational efficiencies for the wider NYS DOL community. TCS’ contribution to the COVID-19 Tech SWAT Team was one of the 19 pro-bono projects that delivered a combined 25,000 hours of volunteer support and saved taxpayers approximately $14 million.
“We’re thankful for TCS’ swift action in supporting the Tech SWAT Team initiative,” said Scott Reif, the NYS Office of Information Technology Services’ Chief Communications Officer. He continued saying, “the impact of this project is not only felt by those who will now receive unemployment insurance, but also the family members who depend on a paycheck and community businesses who are able to receive payment as a result of this financial support.”
“We are incredibly proud to see how the continued commitment and technology expertise of our volunteers has made a tangible difference for so many New Yorkers,” said Lina Klebanov, Head, Corporate Social Responsibility, North America, TCS. “We applaud the tireless efforts of the 23 SWAT Team volunteers, along with the so many TCS employees who have donated their time to help preserve health, wellness and safety in the communities where they work and live.”
TCS’ involvement in the SWAT Team is just one of several examples of how TCS leverages its technology expertise and deep commitment to CSR by helping service and grow the communities within New York State, and across North America. For example, through TCS’ goIT program, more than 5,000 TCS employees have mentored students in inner-city, suburban and rural communities across the U.S. and Canada, helping them gain in-demand skills for 21st century careers. In addition, last year more than 150 New York City educators joined TCS’s Ignite My Future in School program for a day-long professional training on computational thinking to help embed students with the skills they need to work with the technology of the future.
Housed in the Tata Innovation Center on the campus of Cornell Tech, TCS Pace Port™ New York is a co-innovation hub for New York’s Tech Sector that serves a global example for how academia and industry can collaborate to leverage technology for the greater good – both in business and society.
In order to learn more about TCS’ work with the SWAT Team and their commitment to the community, please visit https://tcsempowers.com/