Communications Task Force: January 2022


  • Commissioners: Chair Zakk Maher and Jessica Nixon
  • Staff: Bryan Roche

The Communications Task Force met electronically for its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 and discussed the following:

Welcome and check-in

Meeting times

With a small group in attendance, and a new scheduling conflict that was communicated by John Portella, a new part-time job, the search continues for a better meeting time that works for the whole group.  

Monthly report

Maher invited Roche to report on communications activities and successes from the month of December. Roche presented the report, which can be accessed by using the following link — access report. /commission/reports/administrative-staff-reports/communications-officer-december-2021

The Task Force's role in improving AmeriCorps recruitment

With the news that only 26 members are currently serving (numbers should rise once Maine Conservation Corps has brought on new members), the Task Force's role in improving recruitment was the dominant discussion item. The group in attendance brainstormed some possible ideas and discussed some barriers to full enrollment.


  • Housing: Most programs do not offer a housing stipend or living space in a time where housing is at a premium in Maine.
  • "The great resignation": Spurred by the pandemic, people are taking their time and looking for the right fit when it comes to career development and opportunities.
  • Privilege: With the current living allowance and little-to-no housing assistance, AmeriCorps may not be a realistic option for individuals without financial security.


  • Heightened messaging around AmeriCorps as a good opportunity for a gap year or career exploration.
  • Op-eds/letters to the editor and television story placements to amplify messaging.
  • Letter to the editor or story placement in student newspapers, including community colleges, public (Univ. of Maine System campuses) and private institutions (Bates, Bowdoin, Colby and the Univ. of New England).
  • Simplification of messaging: Review of all recruitment materials and finding ways to put in more relatable terms, such as "earning money" over "stipend" or "living allowance."

Next meeting

Tuesday, February. 8, 2022 from 3 - 4 p.m.*

*Meeting time may change if the Task Force decides on a new standing meeting time.