Program Development and Training Officer: June - August 2022

Major projects completed -- Summer 2022

  • Because the Commission had no new operational grantees, summer training was topical and focused on a series of in-depth learning sessions. Trainer officer planned and hosted a series of six trainings for staff from existing grantees including 1 session in June, 2 in July and 2 in August and the final one on September 1st. (I. Recruitment; II. Program Director Competencies; III. Community Development, AmeriCorps & Civic health; IV. In-person sessions on Training agendas, Member Support & shared Member Competencies; V. Maximizing OnCorps; and VI. Site Management. Online sessions were recorded. Training materials are compiled in the AC Staff Writeboards for future review and use by staff.
  • Topical writeboards in the Group Hub, related to major program management topics with specific guidance and general direction, associated resources and templates, and links to additional information were updated this summer.  A list of the topics covered by the various writeboards is available for review.
  • Completed Closeout of the 19TAHME001 grant in addition to the final Grantee progress report.  
  • Developed and presented workshops for the MDOE inaugural Education Summit on how National Service can support schools and for MEMA's Preparedness conference (with the Volunteer Initiatives Officer) on using the Maine Ready platform in times of emergency and disaster.
  • Did significant outreach and made site visits to a wide variety of agencies in advance of release of three RFA's this summer, AC Planning, AC Rural Operational, and collaborated with the Climate Corps Coordinator on outreach and design of the Climate Corps RFA.  
  • With the Volunteer Sector Initiatives Officer, worked to develop a cohort group for fall Service Enterprise training, including offering Orientation Sessions (though a cohort was not able to be established).
  • Met on multiple occasions throughout the early summer with a coalition of agencies seeking to address the capacity issues faced by schools, local general assistance, and other supporting agencies caused by the influx of Asylum seekers in the greater Portland area.
  • Provided individualized support to two planning grantees as they navigated the contracting and OnCorps set-up processes connected to managing their awards. Also supported the group of grantees completing the final year of their grants.
  • Revised and updated all of the AmeriCorps contract templates to reflect newly adopted policies and the inclusion of a new Risk Level Rider.
  • Participated in the various set up and support activities necessary to meet the demands of the AmeriCorps site monitoring visit in August.  One of the two targeted grants reviewed was the 22TAFME grant overseen by the Training Officer
  • Attended the annual AmeriCorps Symposium which was moved from its regular past September dates to late August.

Issues to be aware of --

  • Note that the training Officer missed time in late spring and early summer due to a family medical issue
  • Recruitment for all programs is continuing to be challenging this year despite increases in the living allowance, housing availability, widespread employment options, and effects of COVID continue to be factors.  
  • We have two novice planning grantees starting late August and another group following after Commission approval.  This is the largest cohort of planning grantees ever funded by the Commission so the need for regular contact and support throughout the year will be important.
  • The Federal NOFA for the upcoming competitive grant cycle (and the subsequent Formula competitions) has been released.  This will dictate outreach efforts during the fall.  A Public Health NOFA is also included.  The Commission is also moving from the state RFP procurement process to the RFA process.  This requires significant revision of the application document and increases the options the staff has for supporting applicants, all of which will impact the work cycle in program development and outreach
  • We will have two Competitive programs, Conservation Corps and KVCAP, submitting continuation applications. MCC will be submitting for their third year in the cycle (during their first operational year as is the norm) and KVCAP will be submitting for their second year soon after their grant start in September.

Major focus of effort in the new month --

  • Planning grant startup support.
  • Support for staff and programs related to CEO visit in September
  • Revision of the AmeriCorps Competitive RFP into an RFA.
  • Begin planning for a Service Enterprise Cohort winter training.
  • Outreach for Competitive and Public Health applicants
  • Application for UMS Micro-Credential Development Grant
  • Develop strategy to bring new planning grantees into registration with the existing ones and prepare for arrival of new Rural Grantee(s) following the close of those competitions

Other activity --

  • Frequent AmeriCorps Technical Assistance to existing grantees via email, teleconference & face to face.
  • Staffed Excellence & Expertise Task Force.
  • Support for Office Assistant in procurement system management as well as backup for initial entry of financial documents in state purchasing system, including purchase orders, bids, and contracts.