Program Development & Training Officer: June, July, August 2021

Major projects completed – Summer 2021

Planned and hosted a series of eight trainings for new grantees and new staff from existing grantees including 2 sessions in June, 3 in July and 3 in August (I. Position descriptions & Recruitment; II. Member agreements & Training Requirements; III. Enrollment & Human Resource management; IV. Using OnCorps, Branding; V. TA meeting & Review of the funding agreement; VI. Site Management; Finance I. Finance for Cost Reimbursement; Finance II. Finance for Fixed Price).  All training materials and recorded close captioned videos of each training are compiled in a Writeboard for future review and use by staff.

A significant component of this process was to build topical Writeboards in the Group Hub related to each of the major training topics with specific guidance and general direction, associated resources and templates, and links to additional information. In addition to updating existing Writeboards covering the NSCHC and required Data Management plans, the following new topical Writeboards are now available to program staff:

  • AC Start-up, Year End & Final Closeout info
  • Benefits & Human Resource information
  • Branding, logos and guides: AmeriCorps and Volunteer Maine
  • Member Agreement & Position Description
  • Member Eligibility, Enrollment, & Exit and eGrants Portal Resources
  • Member Healthcare Coverage Options
  • Member Orientation & Training
  • Recruitment
  • Resources for Inclusion & Equity
  • Service Site & Supervisor Considerations
  • Training for Financial (& Program) Staff (includes bot fixed amount and cost reimbursement components)

Completed Closeout of the 17VGHME001 grant and all of the associated subgrantees.  Began closeout process with the three AmeriCorps planning grants who finished contracted work at the end of June.

Intensified efforts on moving the contents of the New AmeriCorps Program online training course into the software platform needed for asynchronous use by interested organizations

Did significant outreach to Public Health agencies promoting application to the anticipated ARPA-funded Public Health AmeriCorps initiative.

With the Volunteer Sector Initiatives Officer, finalized plans and cohort group for fall Service Enterprise training and started pre-training Diagnostic cycle with the participants

Provided support to the Director related to development of Climate Corps and to Grants Officer. Assisted in the drafting of AmeriCorps contract templates for the coming year.  Worked with the Grants Officer to provide direction and guidance to address staffing and other challenges in the MEAP program and met with USM leadership to develop support for the program so that it could transition into a formal Maine Climate Corps participant program.

Provided individualized support to three first year grantees as they approached the member exit process. Also supported the group of grantees completing the final year of their grants.

Attended Points of Light Conference, participated in ASC’s first remote gathering of Volunteer Generation Fund Grantees, and attended portions of the ASC sponsored Program Officer convening.

Issues to be aware of 

Recruitment for all programs is proving much harder this year. Low living allowance, housing availability, widespread employment options, and effects of COVID resurgence are all factors. 

We have two novice grantees starting September first so the need for regular contact and support during start-up will be important.

The Federal NOFA for the upcoming competitive grant cycle (and the subsequent Formula competitions) will be released.  This will dictate outreach efforts during the fall.  A Public Health NOFA is also scheduled for release.  VM will support an application from Healthy Acadia and, potentially, other applicants.

We currently have only one Competitive program, Conservation Corps, and they will be submitting a continuation application ahead of the start of their first year in a new grant cycle.  This is a regular occurrence every three years.

Major focus of effort in the new month

Completion of AmeriCorps Start-up Online course

Service Enterprise Cohort training (continuing through October)

Direct support for applicants to the Public Health NOFA

ARPA funding support for grantees as needed

Final additions to Writeboard “Handbook” for AmeriCorps Grantee staff

AmeriCorps Symposium.

Other activity 

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

Staffed Excellence & Expertise Task Force.

Support for new 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.