Excellence and Expertise Task Force: January 2022

PRESENT: Susan Hawthorne, Pam Proulx-Curry, Veronica Kupferman

Staff: M. Ashmore, K. Preecs

The meeting opened at 1:32 pm by teleconference

1. Welcome & Agenda adjustments

No adjustments needed

2. Training Updates:

a) Recent FEMA Volunteer & Donations Management Training attended by K. Preecs & J. McFaul

KP shared a summary of the content and her ‘takeaways’ from the week-long training in Vermont.  Primary among these was the need for her to become more familiar with the Volunteer & Donations Management plan in Maine’s Disaster Response framework and to do additional outreach a development of relationships with county EMA’s and other representatives likely to be involved in disaster response.

She noted that Vermont Commission staff and others were in the process of revising their Volunteer & Donations Management Annex. MA shared that, like VT, Maine’s is in draft form with final revisions delayed by the onset of COVID and that it will now need additional adaptation in light of COVID response.

The group discussed the intersection of Volunteer & Donations Management and the Maine Ready online system.  The possibility of recruiting volunteers to assist County personnel in setting up use of the Maine Ready platform was agreed upon.  This led to further discussion of Maine Ready and the value of creating exercise scenarios and setting up more regular contact with those already enrolled in the platform.  It was also suggested that a team of county-specific volunteers could be set up like a form of CERT team with the specific goal of aiding in use of the system in blue skies and in disasters.

SH noted the personal experience in her family of an individual feeling like the training ‘required’ in Maine Ready was an impediment.  The group discussed the fact that there is no actual requirements for any training and that the system needs to be reviewed so that misunderstandings don’t keep people from participating.

b) DEIA training with Racial Equity & Justice

MA shared an update on the status of the contract and planning for the RE&J supported DEIA trainings coming up in the beginning of 2022.  He noted that a portion of the December TA meeting included a meet and greet with the consultants that was well received by staff and that a portion of the January TA meeting would also include a segment in advance of separate, more formal sessions later in the month.

A discussion ensued about cost rates for staff not connected with National Service programs and for those and not funded by Volunteer Maine but who are a part of National Service community.  MA noted that Island Institute, a former grantee, had been part of the initial impetus to offer this training and he reviewed the requirement that the Commission offer training to all National Service programs and not just those who receive funding. MA shared the staffs’ consideration of cost issues – that it was important to create a fee structure that encouraged participation but was reasonable for the amount of time and effort required.  A per person cost of $150 for non-national service staff and $50 for non-grantee National Service staff was proposed and accepted

3. Maine Ready – implementation: strategies for increasing participation/use

Because the discussion under the initial agenda item included a lengthy discussion of this topic, further discussion was tabled to a future meeting

4. AC Member Development – pre-apprenticeship, badging, program support & recruitment

a) The TF was remined of recent research indicating that those in Generation Z are more motivated by potential learning and training than older generations (generally) and that this has overtaken the value of “giving back” as a motivator to volunteer.

MA shared his development of a list of all of the specific trainings offered by Commission grantees in recent years and the plan to survey the current grantees to establish a list of which of these are currently being offered and what other trainings not on the list might be being offered to members.  The committee briefly reviewed the list of 50 or so entries and made additional suggestions for additions. PPC noted that much of the training programs engage in is specific to the service needs and discussed a strategy for collecting these as well

The list will be used to develop the survey which will be made available to programs at the January TA meeting and the data compiled for use in recruitment.

The Task Force recommended that the survey also collect data on what level of interest the is in offerings that they might not currently be offering.

b) MA also shared that he was working with the Grants Officer to develop and deliver a Civic Engagement learning series specifically for AC members and described the basic structure of the course.

5. Additional updates


Upcoming work and topics: Maine Ready and Program Training Data review

Meeting adjourned at 2:33pm