TELI Fall 2020 Challenge Projects
by The Tech Executive Leadership Initiative Fall 2020 Cohort
As part of their training, the Fall 2020 cohort of the Tech Executive Leadership Initiative applied their newfound skills to 5 real-world policy projects. Over the course of eight weeks, teams conducted research, interviewed stakeholders, narrowed their focuses to particular aspects of their prompts, and proposed solutions.
Each team chose one of two challenge prompts to tackle:
- In recent years, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has faced a mounting backlog in processing N-400 applications, the form eligible green card holders use to apply for naturalized citizenship. Surges in application numbers, changes to interview requirements, and reduced staffing have all contributed to protracted wait times. In March 2020, over 700,000 applications were pending review. Compounded with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic — which further strained staffing and led to nationwide USCIS office closures — the agency is dealing with extraordinary challenges. How might USCIS increase the naturalization rates of eligible green card holders?
- To support workers through the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020. The Act significantly altered the terms for conventional unemployment assistance and provided assistance to previously ineligible workers through a new category of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). As a result, states rushed to update their systems for processing unemployment assistance claims to deliver benefits to newly-eligible workers. Regrettably, states have been overwhelmed by massive demand. As a result, millions of Americans have not received the support they qualify for. These burdens exacerbate the strain unemployment agencies already face due to fluctuating funding. How might the federal government help states deliver unemployment assistance to people faster as the program and nature of the work change?
Click below to view a sample of the outputs each team created.