Employment Development Department Director Patrick Henning is leaving his post at the end of this year, according to a memo he issued to staff this morning.
Leadership can be replaced, and so it should, and must be. That's good. It's a time for change in my own career. With a tear in my eye, after 41 years of full-time engagement in labor and employment issues affecting California's working women and men, I have decided to retire at the end of this year. I will miss all of you.
Click here to read Henning's e-mail. He references the department's "tumultuous year." which has been "a challenging period for our nation, our state, working families, and, also for EDD employees."
And he compliments and challenges the department:
I have seen greatness in our dedicated staff. Management should go further in encouraging more incumbent worker training, testing, and implementing alternative approaches to work, upgrading classifications, refreshing career ladders, advocating diversity in our ranks, and recruiting more persons with disabilities into our EDD family. We must develop a good workforce development plan. We help private industry do it. Why not us, for the future? We must change, and change must be NOW!
Today's announcement will no doubt spark rumors about what's behind it. EDD has been overwhelmed with smothering workloads during a record-setting recession. It's had trouble in its call centers and with processing claims.
And the federal government has raised questions about whether furloughs are hampering EDD's ability to meet minimum standards for processing claims. Click here to see how Henning responded to those concerns.