Program Development & Training Officer: April 2023

Major projects completed

Execution of AmeriCorps member Conference on April 5th.Conference was attended by 80+ members and approximately 20 program staffers.  Members presented 15 separate breakout sessions, engaged in three different networking sessions, and enjoyed a well-received plenary speech from Angela Okafor, staff person at the Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Tribal Populations. The second plenary speaker, Rep Dana of the Passamaquoddy Nation was unable to participate due to COVID.  Conference feedback data was shared at the last Commission meeting and can be found here.

Wrap up of Member Conference details, including certificates, invoicing, follow-up with sponsors, writing recommendations for the conference committee members, etc

Provided assistance at the annual Governor’s Service Awards

Assisted in review process for AmeriCorps Formula grants, including developing the staff summary for the MDOE operating grant.

Worked with Unity planning grantee staff to develop a community input plan and offered to assist them by hosting or participating a scoping session related to the input process from the community served.

Presented to the Camden/Rockport Rotary on recent research into the perception of the value of volunteerism by program directors and funders. The presentation was intended to be a pilot of a presentation to take to the larger Rotary community and other audiences going forward.  Special thank you to Diane L. for facilitating the introductions to this audience.

With the Commission’s input, Finalized the Policy required as a part of the Corrective Action related to state’s lack of policy regarding 2 CFR 200.231

Met with representatives of KVCAP/Educare to brainstorm ideas that would facilitate their continuing with the First4 AmeriCorps program and also met with representatives of the Maine Dept of Ed, Child Development Services division to see if and how they might take over program management as away to keep it operating.

Continued to work with the design team on developing the Volunteer Management micro-credential training. This month included filming introductory, and Session I video content in Orono.

Provided individualized direct support to KVCAP, , GPCOG, Unity College, and Maine Youth Alliance – which included a special training on Risk Management for those working and serving with youth.

Issues to be aware of

Outreach to other potential program hosts in order to maintain UMCOA’s Lifelong AmeriCorps has not borne fruit.  VM staff reached out to multiple agencies with the resources to do so at the current scale and was unable to find one with the capacity to do so.

KVCAP/Educare has also determined that the cost/benefit of their AmeriCorps program is not sustainable, even after consideration of various modifications and approaches suggested by commission staff. Commission staff is has engaged in discussions with MDOE to assess their willingness and ability to take on the program management.

The I Know Me AmeriCorps program hired new staff immediately prior to this grant year but has had to let two of them go.  The short-term plan is for the Estabrooks to step back into direct program management roles ahead of the hiring of a new executive direct (targeted for July 1). They will continue beyond their retirement date to ensure that the program is transitioned to new staff hired by incoming leadership.

Staff continues to work with program staff on specific recruitment strategies and on improving the visibility of programs in the state to increase overall awareness of AmeriCorps as a service option for Maine residents. The new Recruitment support staff has been engaged in these discussions and will continue to work on ways to support overall recruitment efforts.

Major focus of effort in the new month

Participation in the ASC Eastern Region Conference in West Virgina mid-month.

Target support to the EMS and KVCOG planning grantees to keep them on track.

Submit the Planning Grant Federal Financial Report and clarifications on the CIF Grant Budget

Submit any remaining documentation required for the Corrective Action related to state’s lack of policy regarding 2 CFR 200.231

Other activity

Continued Planning Grant monthly training sessions for two separate cohorts of awardees in different stages of planning

Ongoing AmeriCorps Assistance to existing grantees via email, teleconference & face to face.

Supported Office Admin with procurement system management and initial entry of financial documents in state purchasing system, including purchase orders, bids, and contracts.

Assisted in assessment of remaining formula funds