The Maine MultiCultural Center (MMCC) is a new, volunteer-based nonprofit organization formed in 2017 to help make Bangor a welcoming place for all. We are a network of educational, business, and cultural stakeholders designed to promote community and economic growth by attracting, retaining, supporting and integrating people of diverse cultures and backgrounds to the greater Bangor community.
MMCC employs two basic strategies to achieve its mission: 1) community outreach and education to help create a hospitable environment for new Mainers and to celebrate the diversity that already exists within the community; and 2) referral services that assist new Mainers in accessing the resources and training they need in order to successfully integrate into the community.
Many new immigrants, particularly refugees, require some assistance when they first arrive. For instance, refugees here less than 5 years have an average annual income of $22,000 nationally (New American Economy, “From Struggle to Resilience: The Economic Impact of Refugees in America”). Interventions in these early years can help position new Mainers for social and economic success in subsequent years. The goal of this project is to expand MMCC’s capacity to help connect low-income immigrants new to the area to the social services, economic resources, and educational and job training services they will need to successfully integrate into their new community.
MMCC’s clients are immigrants to the greater Bangor area. MMCC also offers professional development for area public school teachers (to enable them to teach more effectively to a multicultural class), and community members (to help increase knowledge and appreciation of the many cultures found in the greater Bangor community). In 2017 the 17,870 immigrants living in Maine’s 2nd district comprised 2.7% of the districts population (The New American Economy https://www.newamericaneconomy.org/). From 2009 – 2013 In the Portland, ME area immigrants were found to be 3 times more likely to be living in poverty than native born Americans. With a median income of $24,537 versus $46,821 for native born Americans, 40% of immigrants were living in poverty compared to 10% of non-immigrants (Dickstein et. al. “Building Maine’s Economy” a report for CEI, 2015). Poor English language proficiency is often a major challenge to successful integration and positive economic outcomes. 62% of new refugees struggle with poor English language proficiency. While this improves over time, 50% still experience difficulty with the language several years on. Capp et. al. “The Integration of U.S. Refugees: Success & Challenges” Washington D.C. Migration Policy Institute, 2015).
By expanding MMCC’s asset map of the community, supporting the design of a set of processes and procedures for providing high quality services, supporting the development of strategic community partnerships, managing and expanding MMCC’s presence on social media, and supporting the community outreach and education efforts of MMCC’s Education Committee, the project will improve and strengthen Maine MultiCultural Center’s infrastructure and thus expand its ability to provide services.
MMCC’s work is currently dependent on the volunteer efforts of its Board of Directors and of the members of its various standing committees. The AmeriCorps VISTA member will support the Board’s efforts to improve and expand the organizations infrastructure, and to develop strategic partnerships within the community. MMCC’s ultimate goal is to hire a full-time Director to direct and manage these efforts.
Objective 1 The AmeriCorps VISTA member will work to expand MMCC’s capacity to connect low-income immigrants in the Greater Bangor area with services and resources that will facilitate integration into the community and improve economic prospects, particularly in helping them seek jobs or start their own business:
- The AmeriCorps VISTA member will collaborate with other service delivery organizations such as Eastern Maine Development Corporation, Maine Stream Finance, and Welcoming Immigrant Neighbors (WIN), in service delivery efforts
Objective 2 The AmeriCorps VISTA member will support efforts to expand MMCC’s capacity to connect low-income, new Mainers with the integrative services they need by:
- Updating and refining MMCC’s asset map, and using it to create a resource guide for MMCC’s clients
- Developing policies and procedures for client intake and service delivery
Objective 3 The AmeriCorps VISTA member will work to create and sustain strategic community partnerships:
- Reach out to area organizations and agencies that provide services immigrants might need to:
- Inform them about the Maine MultiCultural Center mission and the needs and challenges of area immigrants
- learn about their intake process and establish reliable contacts
- explore potential collaborative activities
- keep the organizations and agencies informed about MMCC’s activities and immigrant issues
Objective 4 The AmeriCorps VISTA member will manage and expand MMCC’s presence on social media and communications
- Work with MMCC Board to develop a strategic communications plan.
- Manage Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, and update notices and events as needed on the webpage
- Develop brochures, flyers, press releases, etc. to promote the organization and its activities
- Reach out to area radio and TV stations as well as local print media to explore avenues for promoting the organization and its services/activities
- Prepare a monthly e-newsletter
Objective 5 The AmeriCorps VISTA member will support MMCC’s Education Committee community outreach & education efforts:
- Provide technical support for virtual teacher workshops
- Provide technical support for monthly community forums
- Work to publicize Education Committee events
The candidate should have the following background and interests:
- International studies, social services, immigration law, equity and inclusion (income, racial, gender, religious), economic development and immigration.
- Must have a demonstrated commitment to MMCC’s mission to serve immigrants and diverse populations.
- Outstanding attention to detail with strong organizational, analytical, logical and problem solving skills.
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal.
- Sound time management and organizational skills, with an ability to coordinate complex activities and prioritize conflicting demands and deadlines.
- Computer proficiency and experience, including, spreadsheet, word processing, and presentation software.
Send résumé with a simple email message of 1-2 paragraphs on your interest for the position to Pamela Proulx-Curry, mmccBangor@gmail.comby Monday, May 17.
To learn more about AmeriCorps/VISTA, visit Maine’s sponsor organization, Goodwill Northern New England: https://goodwillnne.org/jobs/americorps/