VISTA Positions Announcement Rural IMPACT and Family Futures Downeast Title: Rural IMPACT Project—VISTA Sponsoring Organization: Community Action Partnership Project

Project Period: 02/07/2016 - 02/18/2017

Site Name: Washington County, Maine: Family Futures Downeast Two VISTA members will be hired, one located primarily at The University of Maine at Machias and one primarily at Washington County Community College

Focus Area(s) Primary: Economic Opportunity Secondary: Multi-sector collaboration VISTA Assignment Objectives and Member Activities Goal of the Project: A one-year project of the White House Rural Council (WHRC), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other government agencies, the overall goal of Rural IMPACT is to reduce child poverty by helping communities improve the economic status, education, and well-being of families through a two-generation approach that serves children and their parents together. Each Rural IMPACT Demonstration site is asked to work to align and integrate programs, policies, and systems to better meet the needs of low-income rural and tribal families.

Objective of the Assignment (Period of Performance: April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017) Support the coordination of partners and resources related to the Rural IMPACT Project. Member Activity: Work closely with Rural IMPACT agency leadership to support meetings and communications with local partners Member Activity: Support the documentation/tracking of available local, state regional, national resources which will strengthen project effectiveness. Objective of the Assignment (Period of Performance: April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017) Support Rural IMPACT Site Administration Member Activity: Participate in Rural IMPACT TTA meetings and provide support as needed Member Activity: Support Rural IMPACT communications needs (coordinate Rural IMPACT blog and social media presence) Member Activity: Document technical assistance needs of participating sites Member Activity: Support the data collection and data analysis support process Project Description: Partners across systems in Washington County, Maine are implementing a two-generation program to address rural and tribal poverty called Family Futures Downeast (FFD). The program uses a whole-family approach that supports parents in finding pathways out of poverty through education and access to meaningful careers while also supporting school readiness and healthy development for their children. In a unique adaptation of post-secondary curriculum at the University of Maine at Machias and Washington County Community College, Family Futures Downeast offers 32 parents a one-year program in Family Studies that meets the learning criteria for 15 college credits. Programming integrates workplace readiness and career pathway planning as well as connections to locally available employment opportunities. While parents attend evening classes, FFD children simultaneously engage in safe, effective learning environments in co-located Head Start centers. Family Futures Downeast offers diverse strategies and resources to remove barriers to family success that are related to poverty and the loss of hope. These include financial, social, and academic supports as well as strategic coaching that builds critical thinking and life skills, connects parents and children to community resources using a two-gen framework, and builds family-supporting career pathways. FFD has been designed collaboratively by The University of Maine at Machias, Washington County Community College, Axiom Education and Training Center, Child and Family Opportunities, the Community Caring Collaborative and numerous community, state, and tribal agencies. Most importantly, the design was informed by motivated, struggling parents who see themselves as future participants and whose voices continue to inform the implementation process. FFD will be successful through a combination of supports from local, public and private resources. Comprehensive evaluation will integrate data across they key partnerships with indicators that capture program and process outcomes.

Applying insights from the planning process, the results of the initiative itself, and from the growing body of promising two-generation strategies nationally, partners will work not only to improve outcomes for participating families, but also to support expansion of effective twogeneration strategies across agencies and systems in Maine. VISTA Awards VISTA members receive a living allowance of $11,797 paid bi-weekly over 26 weeks. An education award of $5,770 is paid directly to the VISTA member’s school, or can be applied to student loans (in good standing) if the VISTA member has graduated. A one-time stipend of $1,500 can be paid directly to the VISTA in lieu of the educational award. VISTA members are eligible for a healthcare benefit.

Application and Placement Process The project is hiring two VISTA members, one located primarily at The University of Maine at Machias and one primarily at Washington County Community College. VISTA members will report to the Family Futures Downeast director. Each position is a full-time placement (40 hours) with flexibility in scheduling that allows for evening hours required. Travel to meetings is also required. Supports for transportation are available. Interested applicants who can enthusiastically commit to the project for one year should submit résumé and cover letter to: Charley Martin-Berry, Community Caring Collaborative co-director, at no later than March 7, 2016.


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