The State Worker

California state jobs department gets new tech chief

California’s state job technology now rests squarely on the shoulders of Chad Crowe.

The Department of Human Resources has promoted Crowe to chief information officer, a position that oversees the ongoing high-profile overhaul of the state’s job application portal, and all of the IT efforts aimed at streamlining and simplifying the state’s personnel system.

Crowe joined the state in 2008 as an associate programmer analyst. He headed the technology merger between CalHR and the State Personnel Board when Gov. Jerry Brown overhauled both entities in 2011. He also led the team working on the $10 million makeover of the state job website.

Aside from the California’s DMV website, perhaps no other state-government Internet portal gets as much public exposure as CalHR’s jobs page. Last year the system crashed under the weight of thousands of users who stormed the site in search of an entry-level state-office job. The department has since changed the job application process and added more system capacity to handle Internet traffic.

The project, unlike many state IT undertakings, is a test of whether state employees can handle a technology upgrade, since it is using in-house talent with little help from outside consultants.

Before joining the state, Crowe was a consultant with Virginia-based SRA International Inc. The firm focuses on homeland security, law enforcement, counterterrorism and intelligence. He has worked on high-security projects for the Department of Justice, Department of Fish and Wildlife and several law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Crowe holds a bachelor’s degree in computer information science from California State University, Sacramento. His new post pays $98,676 per year.