Program Development and Training Officer: November 2022

Major projects completed 

  • Presented a session at Maine Volunteer Leadership Conference concerning the value of volunteers as donors, not just of time, but also as financial supporters
  • Hosted two day-long coping sessions for planning grantees.  Each was intended to establish a framework for planning activities and narrow the scope of the grant application plans. In each case the programs have long-term workforce development goals, but need to more clearly establish service activity plans and related short term outcomes.
  • Hosted Bidders Conference for open State Competitive RFA.
  • We were awarded UMS Credential Development Grant for $10,000 (with Cooperative Extension) and competed initial required training
  • Participated in Annual Maine VOAD meeting.
  • Supported Grants Officer in providing guidance to former grantees during closeout.
  • Attended Fusion Bangor conference on DEIA implementation strategies for learning and networking
  • Provided technical assistance to all grantees, including clarifications on housing supports policies, OnCorps troubleshooting, and recruiting in anticipation of January start dates for three programs.
  • Met with former MEAP program director to strategize about possible paths forward in redeveloping a climate focused AmeriCorps program in Maine, including a regional national direct application

Issues to be aware of --

  • Planning grants approved in October and submitted to federal agency for final award are still awaiting final approval. This delay is considerably longer than the stated 30-day approval window for previously allocated funds and delays the processing of contracts with the awarded agencies
  • Early enrollment for September starting programs is significantly better than last year, but still lower than historical averages.  We continue to provide feedback to the federal agency, participate in all recruitment related technical assistance and suggest resources to grantees when they are available
  • Policy related to maximum number of Rural grant cycles will impact a number of grantees in 2024.  Early preparatory conversations will be important as the current small programs consider options for moving out of the Rural grant pool
  • Immediate grantee feedback on MVLC was uniformly positive and details were shared with Program Officer for Volunteer Initiatives and will be considered by E & E at their next meeting

Major focus of effort in the new month --

  • Finalize planning grant contracts with Maine EMS, Unity College, & KVCOG and set up initial trainings with program staff.
  • Develop new Service Enterprise cohort and plan for Orientation for programs considering February start, including formula AmeriCorps programs required by contract to participate. Support K. Preecs in completing Service Enterprise agency MOUS and SED signups.
  • Developing strategy to support failed AC applicants so that they feel capable and empowered to apply in a later competition
  • Establishing the AmeriCorps Member conference committee.
  • Completing corrective action strategy for CIF grant findings for federal agency approval

Other activity --

  • Staffed Excellence & Expertise Task Force.
  • Regular AmeriCorps Technical Assistance to new and existing grantees via email, teleconference & face to face.
  • Support staff for Procurement system management and entry of financial documents in state purchasing system, including purchase orders, bids, and contracts.