Gundeep Ahluwalia has been CIO of Labor Department since 2016, providing innovative leadership around IT strategy, projects and the workforce. Recently his work has him collaborating with states to upgrade their outdated unemployment benefits systems, many built on COBOL mainframes. The pandemic has made the task critical, with people applying for benefits in record numbers in states like New Jersey on systems that can’t handle the load. Labor’s own IT infrastructure under Ahluwalia was prepared to handle scaling of services and telework in a way some states’ weren’t. “Across the department, I find that we’ve not missed a beat in terms of serving the mission area that we are here for,” Ahluwalia told FedScoop.