Budget Year / Version:

Mission Statement

The Community Engagement Cluster (CEC) works to build stronger, more informed, and inclusive communities. The Cluster is responsible for strengthening Montgomery County's commitment to civic engagement and community service by engaging residents, organizations, businesses and other community groups. The Cluster maximizes communities' assets - time, talents, and other resources - working collaboratively to address and resolve community issues.

The cluster is a combination of the five Regional Services Centers, the Commission for Women, and the Office of Community Partnerships, including the Gilchrist Center and the Volunteer Center, that has been operating as one unit since July 1, 2011. As a cluster, these offices/functions have combined facilities, resources, and support staff while retaining staff expertise and experience, as well as most of the objectives of the separate entities involved.


Budget Overview

The total approved FY20 Operating Budget for the Community Engagement Cluster is $4,807,268, an increase of $958,186 or 24.89 percent from the FY19 Approved Budget of $3,849,082. Personnel Costs comprise 84.08 percent of the budget for 27 full-time position(s) and ten part-time position(s), and a total of 32.00 FTEs. Total FTEs may include seasonal or temporary positions and may also reflect workforce charged to or from other departments or funds. Operating Expenses account for the remaining 15.92 percent of the FY20 budget.

County Priority Outcomes

While this program area supports all eight of the County Result Areas, the following are emphasized:

  • Thriving Youth and Families
  • A Greener County
  • Effective, Sustainable Government


Department Performance Measures

Performance measures for this department are included below (where applicable), with multi-program measures displayed at the front of this section and program-specific measures shown with the relevant program. The FY19 estimates reflect funding based on the FY19 approved budget. The FY20 and FY21 figures are performance targets based on the FY20 approved budget and funding for comparable service levels in FY21.


  • Produced and distributed, through the Montgomery County Commission for Women (CFW), "A Tale of Two Counties: The Status of Women in Montgomery County 2018." The report is an update to the 2007 Status of Women Report and covers the following: Women and the Economy, Women and Health, Women and Poverty, Women and Politics, Women and Education, and Women and Public Safety. The report's findings were covered by WAMU, the Bethesda Beat, and WDVM.
  • Organized the 39th Annual Women's Legislative Briefing in January 2019, hosted by CFW.
  • Offered 30 seminars, serving over several hundred residents through CFW programming. Consistent with the CFW's commitment to impact and aligning its work to a set of clear priorities that reflect the needs of the community, the programming committee crafted a mission for its engagement through seminars and workshops: To enrich the lives of women and families by Informing, Educating, Empowering, and Supporting residents of the County.
  • Supported and provided leadership, through CFW, the Montgomery County Human Trafficking Prevention Committee (Committee). The 2018 accomplishments of the Committee include: (1) creation of victim referral cards that are distributed by the Vice Unit of the Montgomery County Police Department, (2) completion of a written report that provides an overview of findings from a survey of Montgomery County hotels concerning their human trafficking training practices, and (3) reviewed and inspected "bodyworks" establishments to ensure they were not fronts for sex trafficking.
  • Served 8,057 residents through volunteer-taught classes such as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Spanish, computer skills, or job search skills; 5,253 residents through information and referral services; and 3,570 residents through partner organization programs such as ESOL and citizenship preparation classes via the Gilchrist Center in FY18.
  • Designed and implemented a new data tracking system for the Gilchrist Center, in partnership with Department of Technology Services. The new system uses tablets making customer information collection much more accurate, effective, and efficient. The new automated system received a National Association of Counties Achievement Award, which is awarded to outstanding programs of the year.
  • Recognized as one of four U.S. communities for the Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange Program, the U.S.-Germany exchange program for immigrant integration practitioners. The Gilchrist Center led the initiative on behalf of the County. The German delegation stayed for four days in Montgomery County to learn best immigrant integration practices, visiting MCPS, Linkages to Learning, Impact Silver Spring, Montgomery College, etc. The Montgomery County team of four visited German cities in November 2018 as part of the program.
  • Hosted a delegation of six British cities to Montgomery County in May 2018 through the University of Oxford's Inclusive Cities Program to learn about best welcoming practices and exchange ideas with Montgomery County's immigrant integration practitioners.
  • Continued to strengthen the culture of giving and serving in Montgomery County by connecting volunteers with critical community needs through the Montgomery County Volunteer Center (MCVC). For the Community Service Week 2018 and Martin Luther King Day 2019, 5,819 volunteers engaged 171 different projects. Three new partners hosted MLK Day project sites in 2019. More than 1,100 local nonprofit and government agencies have active accounts on MCVC website listing volunteer opportunities, including 207 agency accounts created in 2018. More than 15,000 volunteers have created accounts on the website to respond to volunteer opportunities, 9,454 volunteer accounts were created in 2018. A total of 20,417 referrals were made through the website in 2018. Continued and built on the partnership with MCPS to manage Student Service Learning volunteer opportunities for all students in middle and high school. Provided monthly capacity building trainings for agencies attended by 268 nonprofit professionals in 2018. The new 50+ Volunteer Network program interviewed 209 volunteers and matched skilled volunteers with 147 opportunities at nonprofit and government agencies. In FY18, volunteers with the Tax Aide Program of RSVP completed 4,972 tax returns for 6,448 low to moderate income residents, resulting in total tax refunds of $4,601,275.
  • Distributed $25,000 in neighborhood matching funds through the Regional Services Centers (RSCs) to over 30 grassroots-based neighborhood groups to undertake hyper-local small events to build communities and strengthen networks across racial and social divides, including block parties, special neighborhood gatherings, and community conversations.
  • Improved the Mid-County Regional Service Office website and upgraded the weekly e-newsletter which has a subscription of over 2,000 with an open rate of 25 - 29 percent. The Silver Spring Regional Services Center (SSRSC) also increased its eNewsletter subscription to over 6,000; and now lists it on NextDoor.com with an additional 9,000 subscribers.
  • Strengthened opportunities for civic engagement and communication with county government from the Upcounty Regional Office by assisting the Germantown Alliance in their mission to be a recognized and credible voice for the Germantown community of 100,000 residents; and by introducing strategies for developing a Clarksburg Clothing Closet that will serve Upcounty residents, especially those entering and returning to the workforce.
  • Guided a successful strategy from the Upcounty Regional Office that included assistance from Landlord-Tenant Affairs and CASA de Maryland to improve the relationship between Middlebrook Gardens' 500+ residents and their property management company.
  • Led a multi-agency and community partnership effort through the East County Regional Service Center (ECRSC) to hold the Second Annual East County Job Fair which brought together 65 public and private recruiters and 706 job seekers. Over 200 participants attended a series of workshops designed to promote small business development.
  • Joined, organized, and provided leadership to three Neighborhood Action Teams with the SSRSC: Oakview Community; Progress Place Environs; and Downtown Safety.
  • Organized eight listening sessions for over 1,300 residents across the county over a period of four weeks through the Office of Community Partnerships (OCP) to assist the transition process of the County Executive's Office. Helped to organize and staff the transition team meetings along with other administrative support. Partners for the listening sessions included Community Use of Public Facilities, Department of Recreation, and Montgomery Community Media.


Collaboration and Partnerships

Citizens Corners

OCP launched countywide Citizenship Corners in partnership with Montgomery County Public Libraries and the Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center as part of a national bipartisan effort to encourage eligible immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship, with information provided in a number of languages.


Department of Public Libraries

Thriving Germantown Initiative

The Upcounty Regional Office continued to work with the Thriving Germantown Initiative to help secure $1 million in State funds toward establishing a service delivery hub that will co-locate several nonprofit providers who will deliver direct services to Germantown residents in need. The initiative currently has 27 nonprofit, private, and government partners who are collaboratively assessing families' needs, determining risks, tracking the success of referrals made for service, and identifying trend data.


Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County Public Schools, Non-Profits

Safety and Security in Germantown

The Upcounty Regional Office partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington and Montgomery County Police to improve safety and security measures at the organization's Montgomery County facility in Germantown.


Department of Police, Non-Profits

Merchant and Small Business Assistance

The SSRSC is at the forefront of efforts to mitigate the impact on merchants and small businesses of the Purple Line and other construction work in the Regional Area. This has included bringing together the owners of business adjacent to the Studio Plaza development and others in Fenton Village, particularly Bonifant Street; working with the Long Branch Business League and the City of Takoma and the Takoma Langley Crossroads Development Authority in Langley Park; assisting the neighborhoods surrounding the Montgomery Hills and Brookville Road commercial hubs. The mitigation efforts have included setting up direct financial assistance to businesses impacted by County projects; increased way-finding signage; improved presence in social media; and directing access to technical assistance and other resources.


Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Permitting Services, Department of Police, Department of Transportation, Urban Districts, Non-Profits


Program Descriptions

  Community Partnership

The Office of Community Partnerships (OCP) is a bridge among our diverse community residents and organizations and the County government. The staff provides outreach and liaison services to ethnic, multilingual, and multicultural communities; works closely with the County's nonprofit and faith community organizations; and coordinates a number of community-building events...

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  Gilchrist Center

The Charles W. Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity is the County's Welcome Center for newcomers and helps to build the network of immigrant service providers in the County. The Center offers various immigrant integration services at various locations throughout the County that prepare residents to contribute to our economy...

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  Commission for Women

The Commission for Women's mission is to identify gender-based inequities in laws, policies, practices and procedures, and to advocate remedies by advising the public and local, state, and federal agencies on issues of concern to women, including organizing events relating to these issues....

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  Regional Services Centers

The County has five Regional Services Centers: Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Eastern Montgomery, Mid-County, Silver Spring, and Upcounty. The Regional Directors in each of the County's five regions work with their respective regional citizens advisory boards, residents, community groups, businesses, and other public agencies to proactively seek and gather information and assess...

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Administrative Management for the Community Engagement Cluster (CEC) handles all aspects of budget, procurement, financial, contracts/grants, personnel, and administrative matters of the CEC units (Regional Services Centers, Commission for Women, Office of Community Partnerships, including the Gilchrist Center and the Volunteer Center). In addition, the responsibilities of this unit include...

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Budget Trends
Program Contacts

Contact Fariba Kassiri of the Community Engagement Cluster at 240.777.2512 or Corey Orlosky of the Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2762 for more information regarding this department's operating budget.

Related Links
Budget Summary
Salaries and Wages2276992.002387094.00 2334847.00 3067171.0028.5
Employee Benefits581065.00698630.00 565225.00 910508.0030.3
County General Fund Personnel Costs2858057.003085724.00 2900072.00 3977679.0028.9
Operating Expenses810852.00696038.00 839312.00 765124.009.9
County General Fund Expenditures3668909.003781762.00 3739384.00 4742803.0025.4
Full-Time17.0018.00 18.00 26.0044.4
Part-Time6.009.00 9.00 10.0011.1
FTEs22.8522.85 22.85 31.3537.2
Facility Rental Fees5714.0010500.00 10500.00 10500.000.0
Miscellaneous Revenues2500.000.00 710.00 0.000.0
Other Charges/Fees-30.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Parking Fees-3600.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Recreation Fees5400.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
County General Fund Revenues9984.0010500.00 11210.00 10500.000.0
Salaries and Wages42200.0052084.00 52084.00 47676.00-8.5
Employee Benefits11163.0015236.00 15236.00 16789.0010.2
Grant Fund - MCG Personnel Costs53363.0067320.00 67320.00 64465.00-4.2
Operating Expenses14579.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Expenditures67942.0067320.00 67320.00 64465.00-4.2
Full-Time1.001.00 1.00 1.000.0
Part-Time0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
FTEs0.650.65 0.65 0.650.0
Federal Grants52465.0067320.00 67320.00 64465.00-4.2
State Grants33257.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Revenues85722.0067320.00 67320.00 64465.00-4.2
Total Expenditures3736851.003849082.00 3806704.00 4807268.0024.9
Total Full-Time Positions18.0019.00 19.00 27.0042.1
Total Part-Time Positions6.009.00 9.00 10.0011.1
Total FTEs23.5023.50 23.50 32.0036.2
Total Revenues95706.0077820.00 78530.00 74965.00-3.7
FY20 Approved Changes
Changes (with service impacts)
Add: Regional Business Hub Program [Regional Services Centers]2295833.00
Add: Additional Regional Services Center Capacity [Regional Services Centers]1714402.00
Add: Mid-Year Position for Gilchrist Center [Gilchrist Center]1164751.00
Add: County Match - Maryland State Census Grant Program [Community Partnership]965360.00
Enhance: Enhance African Affairs Liaison support [Community Partnership]557200.50
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Shift: Funding from County Executive's Office for Business Solutions Group [Regional Services Centers]3567412.00
Increase Cost: FY20 Compensation Adjustment613110.00
Increase Cost: Retirement Adjustment63990.00
Decrease Cost: Annualization of FY19 Personnel Costs-13940.00
Decrease Cost: Marketing/Promotion [Regional Services Centers]-200000.00
Decrease Cost: White Flint project [Regional Services Centers]-200000.00
Decrease Cost: Other Special Functions [Regional Services Centers]-250000.00
Decrease Cost: OCP Events [Community Partnership]-300000.00
Decrease Cost: Miscellaneous Operating Expenses [Administration]-367700.00
FY20 APPROVED474280331.35
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Re-align: Grant Budget Adjustment [Community Partnership]-28550.00
FY20 APPROVED644650.65
Program Summary
Program NameFY19 APPR
Community Partnership12162708.0013526888.50
Gilchrist Center4636125.505466726.50
Commission for Women1773821.001897271.00
Regional Services Centers11838735.00195524112.00
Future Fiscal Impacts ($000s)
FY20 Approved4743.0000004743.0000004743.0000004743.0000004743.0000004743.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
Annualization of Positions Approved in FY200.000000129.000000129.000000129.000000129.000000129.000000
New positions in the FY20 budget are generally assumed to be filled at least two months after the fiscal year begins. Therefore, the above amounts reflect annualization of these positions in the outyears.
Elimination of One-Time Items Approved in FY200.000000-131.000000-131.000000-131.000000-131.000000-131.000000
Items recommended for one-time funding in FY20, including Census Grant match, and operating expenses associated with new positions, will be eliminated from the base in the outyears.
Labor Contracts0.00000027.00000027.00000027.00000027.00000027.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Subtotal Expenditures4743.0000004768.0000004768.0000004768.0000004768.0000004768.000000
Annualization of Personnel Costs and FTEs
TitleFY20 Approved FY21 Annualized
Additional Positions for Regional Business Hub Program1463602.001951402.00
Additional Regional Services Center Capacity - Tranche 1800001.001100001.00
Additional Regional Services Center Capacity - Tranche 2800001.001100001.00
Enhance African Affairs Liaison support500000.50700000.50