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Administrative Staff Reports

September 1, 2020

Program Development & Training Officer

Major projects completed – June, July, August 2020

  • Completed application reviews, requested and reviewed clarifications and corrections from applicants. Drafted and submitted for approval an AmeriCorps Planning Grant contract format. Completed entering all AmeriCorps contracts in the Advantage and submitted planning grants for approval. Assisted in the drafting and finalization of all other AmeriCorps contracts.
  • Supported new gr.antees, MDF and GPCOG with development of final logic model for their applications and assisted in their submission of Performance Measures appropriate to the program design
    Continued to monitor and support agencies requesting assistance with COVID-19 related volunteer needs and administrated the Maine Ready platform, including providing as needed technical assistance to users.
  • Continued to provide ongoing updates and technical assistance to grantees regarding COVID-19 related policy and procedural changes introduced by CNCS, including exit rule changes, election related prohibitions, member awareness related to protesting restrictions, EEOC guidance on equitable selection and changes issued in June to the AmeriCorps Terms and Conditions.
  • Worked with the Grants Officer to modify the New Grantee training format and sequence and began designing an ongoing training program for Planning Grantees. Presented an AmeriCorps “Start-up” orientation for new programs and a full day Planning Grant orientation. Also hosted the Financial Management Training for new grantees and new staff members.
  • Assisted Communications Officer with preparations for roundtable with Sen. Collins.
    Submitted Clarifications and revisions related to VGF re-compete and CIF applications updates required by CNCS due to adjustments to the normal funding cycle.
  • Submitted a presenter proposal for the national AmeriCorps Symposium that was the only Commission proposal accepted.
  • Provided support to the Director related to the ongoing OIG review

Issues to be aware of –

  • COVID-related policy changes instituted by CNCS continue to be tweaked and termination dates for many of the changes are not established, leading to uncertainty about impact they have on ‘20-21 grants starting this summer and fall. We continue to monitor guidance and attend all CNCS informational meetings in order to keep grantees informed of items that could impact their implementation.
  • The Federal NOFA for the upcoming competitive grant cycle (and the subsequent Formula competitions) was released. CNCS priorities this cycle include: Efforts to help local communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic; Programs that actively engage in removing structural racial inequities, advancing racial equality, and increasing opportunity in order to achieve sustainable change in communities; as well as modified focus one child poverty and financial literacy.
  • A number of applicants are heading into their re-compete cycles. This requires support for evaluation plans that will need to be coordinated with USM Data Innovation Project that is contracted to provide this support and recommendations regarding movement to Fixed Price for Healthy Acadia, as well as normal pre-RFP support for re-competing programs.

Major focus of effort in the new month –

  • AmeriCorps Symposium & Galaxy Digital presentations.
  • Volunteer Generation Fund grantee reporting and financial report feedback and corrections in anticipation of the final quarter of subgrantee funding.
  • AmeriCorps Planning Grant Training.
  • Renewed focus on alternative Service Enterprise cohort strategies, including online training (continued from spring).

Other activity –

  • Ongoing AmeriCorps & VGF Technical Assistance to existing grantees via email, teleconference & face to face.
  • Procurement system management and initial entry of financial documents in state purchasing system, including purchase orders, bids, and contracts.