Program Development & Training Officer: March 2021

Major projects completed

  • Final preparations and execution of the AmeriCorps Member Conference, done in a virtual setting for the first time. Oversight of staff support, support to Member Planning Team, coordination of staff support for virtual classrooms and media coverage. Promoting sponsorship and addressing other conference details
  • Human Resource Training for new staff, including Healthy Acadia and Maine Environmental AmeriCorps Program AYCC.
  • Designed and hosted redesigned Rural AmeriCorps Bidders Conferences, particularly the addition of a second half-day session focused on the practical aspects responding to the narrative prompts, submitting an application via the eGrants platform, building an effective logic model, and creating a program budget.
  • Presented at a MEMA sponsored discussion of Volunteer Liability and its interrelationship with MRS Title 37-B.
  • Update NSCHC program guidance for grantees and provide guidance of newly promulgated background check rules and implications for programs procedures and policies.
  • Final Outreach and support to potential applicants prior to release of AmeriCorps Formula RFPs on March 5. Specific support to existing planning grantees, UMCOA and Van Buren, as well as a session with Maine Youth Alliance.

Issues to be aware of

  • After participating in the planning grant process Penquis staff from the Knox County office, in collaboration with their Advisory Committee, determined that they are not prepared organizationally to support a Rural State AmeriCorps programs and have opted for continued development work through VISTA.
  • MEMA and CDC and federal FEMA staff were made aware of a process for requesting redeployment of unfilled Maine summer AC positions potentially available from three programs.  A deadline for appropriate planning was given as the end of March, at which times the programs would need to work at filling their slots for regular assignment.
  • Programs were made aware of a four-year history of under-enrollment, particularly among shorter term slot types and the implications for the Commission’s status in future competitions.  A discussion of the proposed grant policy removing unfilled slots and the value of moving grantees to fixed-amount awards was held with the entire group of grantees.

Major focus of effort in the new month

  • VGF Closeout; final documentation review, closeout paperwork and final payments to subgrantees.
  • Renewed work with potential public health, climate corps and Child Development Services personnel on application design.
  • Adaptations resulting from Corporation decision-making on funding increases for AC members.
  • Finalization of guidance for programs resulting from new Background Check rules taking effect on May first.
  • Continuation of effort at increasing available library of resources for programs on the Group Hub to augment forthcoming new grantee trainings.
  • Staff assessments resulting from closing RFP competitions.

Other activity

  • Facilitated E & E Task Force Meeting and follow-up.
  • Ongoing AmeriCorps & VGF Closeout Assistance to existing grantees via email, teleconference & face to face.
  • Procurement system management and initial entry of financial documents in state purchasing system, including purchase orders, bids, and contracts.