One motivation for doing an AmeriCorps term of service is to gain skills for future employment or education. For this reason, VM takes time with each applicant listening to what they are looking for, and hoping to experience in order to find just the right fit. We know that the job market, though recovering is still a bit tight, and respect the fact that Volunteer Maryland Coordinators are hoping that service may lead in the direction of a job.
In about two weeks, the current group of coordinators will end their 11 month term of service. This can be a time filled with a bit of anxiety as our folks look at what comes next. For a few the futures involves a bit of the past. Six of the 23 VMCs have accepted jobs with their service site. That is great news on many levels. First, it speaks to the professionalism of the individuals that were offered employment. Their sites know that these folks can get things done, and are committed to the mission. It is also a good sign for the nonprofit community as this is an improvement over last year’s number of VMCs that stayed on as employees. Last year two of the amazing members of VM25 were hired on by their site. This is not a reflection at all on the members of that class, but rather a continued sign of the times. With a 200 percent increase over last year, my hope is that there will be more opportunities out there for truly talented VM alums.
I am so proud of the current group of Volunteer Maryland Coordinators. AmeriCorps is not easy, but these folks preserved, and went from novice volunteer coordinators to seasoned professionals. They developed management skills, facilitated trainings and put volunteer programs in a place where they could provide results. That is what makes them so hirable. They have the goods that equal a strong employee.
I wish I could keep them, but AmeriCorps is not meant to be a lifelong job, but rather a time of meaningful service that leads to new opportunities. Congratulations to all of the members of VM Class 26.