April 20, 2018
Present: Commissioners John Portela, Deborah Johnson, Ed Barrett, David Burns, Libby Hite, Carol Rancourt, Beth Lambert
Staff Members: Maryalice Crofton, Michael Ashmore, Cecily Cook, Laurel Bernier
Public Comment Period: Nine members of the public offered brief remarks. They were Joely Ross, Elizabeth Holt, and Jake Reindhart from Goodwill's AmeriCorps programs; Sara Knowles and Deidra Stanchfield of Maine Conservation Corps; Jen Craven of REAL School; Maria Staples and Lorain Francis from Penquis Senior Corps; and Lisa Laflin from United Way of Tri-Valley Area.
Call to Order: Commission Chair John Portela called the meeting to order at 10:16am.
1. Quiz Answer: The purpose of the quiz this month is to highlight differences between the traditional AmeriCorps program design and the affiliate program. The answer: The affiliate program is non-competitive, administered directly by CNCS, allows members to be as young as 14, and has a 100-hour position.
2. Announcements and Appreciations
A Commissioner sign-on letter from ASC was presented. The purpose of the letter is to ask the House and Senate leadership to continue their support for National Service.
3. Annual Report
Copies of the annual report were handed out for Commissioners to share.
Focus on Mission/Responsibilities
A. Overview of National Service appropriation for 2018 (Crofton)
1. Language that changed programming
The appropriation law language changes include the provision for a 1200-hour AmeriCorps State & National position. This is due to a reflection of school year hours.
A funding chart from the Omnibus bill that was passed by Congress was shared. According to the funding equation, small states like Maine will receive an additional $15,000 each. Also, about 85% of the funds under AmeriCorps State & National are managed by State Commissions.
A. Business Meeting Minutes
1. March meeting (Portela) A quorum was not present; minutes could not be approved. There was no discussion or questions presented.
B. Executive Committee (Portela)
1. Consideration of updated motion authorizing action by Executive Committee (tabled motion)
This motion will continue to be tabled due to legislation in the House that could have impacted the language, but was not approved to move forward. The Exec. Committee will revisit the language of the motion to finalize.
2. Meeting Notes - April
No voting; no discussion.
C. Grant Selection and Performance (Bernier)
1. Meeting notes posted
Laurel provided a brief report on the GTF last meeting, the minutes of which have been posted. There are two new AmeriCorps RFPs out, the deadlines for which are May 4. These are for the triennial AmeriCorps standard formula competition and the rural state AmeriCorps grant. The June business meeting will be held of the second Friday in the month due to the grant application deadlines on the Federal level.
D. Excellence and Expertise (Young & Ashmore)
1. Meeting Notes Posted
Joe and Michael provided a summary of the discussion during the previous task force meeting - notes are posted. No quorum, therefore no vote was held to approve.
E. Public Information and Education/Public Policy (Rancourt)
Minutes have been posted. The primary PIE focus currently is Senior Corps marketing and approving radios PSAs that were produced by CNCS. Once the task force reviews and approves them they will be sent to MAB for distribution.
F. CNCS Regional Office update (Hite)
The new CEO, Barbara Stewart, recently testified before the Education and Workforce Committee. The full testimony is on the Committee's website.
There is currently a FEMA Corps team serving in Augusta.
April 30-May 5 is Senior Corps Week. Use #IAmSeniorCorps and focus on stories about the human side of programs.
May is also Older Americans Month and there are events scheduled across the State with Senior Corps representatives.
Maine General RSVP is relinquishing their grant. Ruth St. Amand is retiring effective June 30.
G. MCCS Staff
1. Service Enterprise cohorts forming. (Ashmore)
Midcoast: mostly natural resource groups and 1 VGF grantee in Rockland
Bangor: planned for the summer and also tied to VGF grantee, United Way of Eastern Maine, who will be facilitating the process.
Portland: Participants have finished the training series and are working on certification.
2. Certificate in Management of Volunteers - update
Participants are generally surprised by how rigorous the course is. On average there is a 12-15 point improvement between the pre and post tests. A common theme in the feedback is that participants are surprised by what they didn't know. Enrollment is happening now for the next session. Deadline is May 7.
a. April 6 Vision Conference Feedback
The process was interesting and exciting. The content was rich and the attendees were all engaged with the process. The excellent turn out shows a hunger for knowledge on volunteerism. At the May Business Meeting an updated identity statement and strategic opportunities will be reviewed.
b. Moving on June 18
MCCS will be moving on June 18 to the Elkins building on the AMHI campus.
c. January grant applications
By the May meeting CNCS decisions on the competitive grant applications submitted in January will be known.
Planning and Future Initiatives
A. Commission Retreat (Portela)
On Sept. 20 and 21 will be the annual retreat in conjunction with the regular business meeting, occuring after the July and August break. There will be new commissioners and retiring commissioners and a discussion around the launch of the new strategic plan.
Business Wrap Up
A. National Service Staff annual recognition (Portela)
John presented certificates to all Maine's National Service Program staff before adjourning to the working lunch roundtables.
Next business meeting is May 18, 2018
Meeting adjourned at 11:35am.