Program Development & Training Officer: January 2024

Major projects completed –

  • Continued New Grantee Training for Penobscot staff members and met with their HR contractor to help that agency understand AmeriCorps.  Held a special meeting with the tribal program staff and an MDOL representative on the interface between AmeriCorps, Licensed Apprenticeships and Workforce Development through service
  • Updated and provided the semi-annual Site Supervisor Training for supervisors of grantee programs. The meting followed the Monthly AmeriCorps Technical Assistance Meeting
  • Presented an afternoon, in-person workshop for GPCOG’s new cohort of members on Skilled Volunteerism and the role of local volunteerism in AmeriCorps programming
  • Began AmeriCorps Member Conference planning meetings with selected member representatives from 7 programs and facilitated weekly meetings, providing support to member planners
  • Began a bi-weekly meeting series the Alpha Legal Foundation [former planning grantee and applicant] in support of a revised application in the upcoming competition
  • Met with three other agencies exploring application to the spring formula competition
  • Met with a local agency developing an understanding of Risk Management concepts related to youth service using potentially hazardous tools
  • Provided individualized support for all three planning grantees in addition to hosting the monthly Planning Grant Technical Assistance Meeting.
  • VM staff participating in the development of the Introductory Volunteer Management micro credential met again to finalize work on module two.  Members of the AmeriCorps and Volunteer Manager communities have been asked to pilot the initial module and provide feedback

Issues to be aware of –

  • The Member conference Planners have invited Sonali Nijhawan, the Director of AmeriCorps State & National, to be the keynote of the April Member Conference. Commissions should be aware of her potential visit, her first to Maine.  Confirmation is forthcoming
  • The first in-person National & Community Service Day is scheduled for February 6th in Maine’s Hall of Flags. All commission programs of all types are expected to participate, as well as AmeriCorps Senior program representatives and AmeriCorps VISTA, and National Direct AmeriCorps program staff
  • Disaster Recovery meetings with MEMA and Maine VOAD have begun on a weekly basis and are likely to continue to take up time, particularly if there is a Federal Declaration.
  • Formula RFA’s will be in development, including Regular formula and Rural formula grants for issue next month or early March with an April deadline. Outreach to potential applicants is ongoing.  The application format will be changed somewhat in response to changes in the Federal FY2024 NOFO.  Current grantees facing re-compete have been made aware of potential changes
  • Open RFP's limit the ability of the Training officer to provide direct support as this provides advantage for an applicant unavailable to other applicants
  • Reimbursement to Grantees is still taking extended time and some programs have had to restrict organizational spending due to cash flow issues

Major focus of effort in the new month –

  • Executing the National & Community Service event in Maine’s Hall of Flags for all National Service, Senior Service, Climate Corps membership and Service Fellows programs
  • Major planning for AmeriCorps Member Conference, scheduled for April 3rd at Snow Pond Center; including weekly meetings, gathering and vetting session proposals, and establishing Keynote speaker invites. Theme is “Finding Community: Uniting through Service”.
  • Supporting the potential applicants, including former and current Planning Grantees intending to apply to the upcoming competition before the window of support closes
  • Monitoring the Disaster Response work across the state and assisting as requested
  • Continue Curricular design work for the Volunteer Management Micro-Credential course, completing elements needed for module 2 release and finalizing module 3 content

Other activity –

  • Continued work to resolve a variety of funding and reimbursement challenges and to develop related new protocols.
  • Hosted Maine Volunteer Managers’ Network meeting
  • Provided staff support to E & E Task Force
  • Ongoing AmeriCorps Technical 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.