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 FY19 Operating Budget for the Community Engagement Cluster is $3,849,082, an increase of $9,712 or 0.25 percent from the FY18 Approved Budget of $3,839,370. Personnel Costs comprise 81.92 percent of the budget for 19 full-time position(s) and nine part-time position(s), and a total of 23.50 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 18.08 percent of the FY19 budget.

Linkage to County Result Areas

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

  • Healthy and Sustainable Neighborhoods
  • A Responsive, Accountable County Government
  • Vital Living for All of Our Residents


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 FY18 estimates reflect funding based on the FY18 approved budget. The FY19 and FY20 figures are performance targets based on the FY19 approved budget and funding for comparable service levels in FY20.


  • Launched the inaugural Girl Power Writing Contest, in honor of Women's History Month, coordinated by the Commission for Women (CFW). Winners, including elementary, middle, and high school students as well as adults from around the County, had the opportunity to meet County Executive Isiah Leggett at the April 2017 Commission meeting.
  • 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 2017 and Martin Luther King Day 2018, 7,063 volunteers engaged in 217 different projects. Migrated to a new website with mobile-friendly search options and updated volunteer management components. Continued and built on 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 352 nonprofit professionals. Launched the 50+ Volunteer Network to focus on the growing senior population and effectively match skilled volunteers with nonprofit and government agencies, which builds on and enhances the existing Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). In FY17, volunteers with the Tax Aide Program of RSVP completed 4,935 tax returns for low to moderate income residents resulting in total tax refunds of over $4 million.
  • Served 9,739 residents through volunteer-taught classes such as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Spanish, computer skills, or job search skills; 8,889 residents through information and referral services; and 3,234 residents through partner organization programs such as ESOL and citizenship preparation classes via the Gilchrist Center in FY17.
  • Distributed neighborhood matching funds through the Regional Services Centers (RSCs) to grassroots-based neighborhood groups to undertake hyper-local events to build communities, including block parties, special neighborhood gatherings, and community conversations.
  • Organized the 38th Annual Women's Legislative Briefing in January 2018, held by CFW.
  • Coordinated, through CFW, the transition of the Human Trafficking Task Force from a task force to a committee, and worked with the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault on the passing of State legislation (House Bill 429/Senate Bill 217) nicknamed, "No Means No!"
  • Facilitated the East County Job Fair, which connected employers with job seekers, and provided a series of workshops for job seekers and small business start-up skill development.
  • Continued work with the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee and organized the second annual Pike District Fall Fest, a street festival in the White Flint Sector Plan Area, through the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.



  • Establish a Worksource Montgomery HIRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment) Employment Assistance Resource Center at the East County Regional Services Center, as part of the East County Opportunity Zone Initiative. The Center serves as a community-based hub for the provision of employment education and training services to East County residents.


Collaboration and Partnerships

Neighborhood Action Team in Silver Spring

The Silver Spring Regional Services Center (SSRSC) convened and managed an interagency group (Neighborhood Action Team) consisting of representation from Health and Human Services, Silver Spring Urban District, Police, Community Use of Public Facilities, and Public Libraries, as well as various homeless providers and residents, in a series of meetings and community conversations on the subject of homelessness in downtown Silver Spring. Enhanced communication among stakeholders will be used to address the issue going forward.


Office of Community Use of Public Facilities, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Police, Department of Public Libraries, Urban Districts

Development of Parking Lot 3 in Silver Spring

The SSRSC, in collaboration with the Department of Permitting Services, the Department of Transportation, and area businesses, continue to work to mitigate the impacts caused by the development of Parking Lot 3, the Studio Plaza development. This effort led to the establishment of regular communication between the developers and businesses, increased monitoring of the construction, and an enhanced parking alternatives plan.


Department of Permitting Services, Department of Transportation

East County Opportunity Zone Plan

The East County Regional Services Center, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, led a strategic process to establish the East County Opportunity Zone, a public-private collaboration designed to enhance community services delivery in East County in several areas including workforce development, access to health and social services, food security, and transportation. Public and private funding and resources were secured in 2018 for the implementation of a workforce development service delivery model project focused on adult and youth employment education and training.


Department of Health and Human Services, Non-Profits

Thriving Germantown Community Hub

Upcounty Regional Services Center (UCRSC) led an initiative to address safety issues and service needs in the Germantown community. UCRSC worked with Permitting Services, Pepco, and the Department of Recreation to secure residents' safety. A collaboration of the Healthcare Initiative Foundation was formulated, and the group championed the effort, forming "Thriving Germantown" with a collaborative group of service providers and private and public funders offering wrap-around services for the children in that community.


Department of Permitting Services, Department of Recreation, Non-Profits

Dalewood Park Maintenance

The Mid-County Regional Services Center convened the Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Department of Transportation, and the Department of Recreation for the execution of a memorandum of understanding that, after decades of inattention, outlines the status and delineates the responsibilities for ongoing maintenance of a playground commonly known as Dalewood Park, located in the Connecticut Avenue Estates neighborhood.


Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Department of Recreation, Department of Transportation


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 Wages2279286.002293089.00 2259945.00 2387094.004.1
Employee Benefits592422.00643850.00 643851.00 698630.008.5
County General Fund Personnel Costs2871708.002936939.00 2903796.00 3085724.005.1
Operating Expenses747136.00835111.00 805111.00 696038.00-16.7
County General Fund Expenditures3618844.003772050.00 3708907.00 3781762.000.3
Full-Time17.0017.00 17.00 18.005.9
Part-Time4.006.00 6.00 9.0050.0
FTEs22.3522.85 22.85 22.850.0
Commission for Women Fees651.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Facility Rental Fees0.0010500.00 10500.00 10500.000.0
Recreation Fees6225.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
State Grants5000.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
County General Fund Revenues11876.0010500.00 10500.00 10500.000.0
Salaries and Wages55294.0052921.00 52921.00 52084.00-1.6
Employee Benefits15803.0014399.00 14399.00 15236.005.8
Grant Fund - MCG Personnel Costs71097.0067320.00 67320.00 67320.000.0
Operating Expenses24550.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Expenditures95647.0067320.00 67320.00 67320.000.0
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 Grants96464.0067320.00 67320.00 67320.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Revenues96464.0067320.00 67320.00 67320.000.0
Total Expenditures3714491.003839370.00 3776227.00 3849082.000.3
Total Full-Time Positions18.0018.00 18.00 19.005.6
Total Part-Time Positions4.006.00 6.00 9.0050.0
Total FTEs23.0023.50 23.50 23.500.0
Total Revenues108340.0077820.00 77820.00 77820.000.0
FY19 Approved Changes
Changes (with service impacts)
Reduce: Administrative Costs for Regional Service Centers [Regional Services Centers]-150000.00
Reduce: Support for Community Events [Community Partnership]-200000.00
Reduce: Assistance to Community-Sponsored Events [Administration]-279000.00
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Increase Cost: Gilchrist Center Personnel Conversions [Gilchrist Center]1015210.00
Increase Cost: FY19 Compensation Adjustment508790.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY18 Personnel Costs205730.00
Increase Cost: Labor Contracts Adjustment10000.00
Increase Cost: Printing and Mail1270.00
Decrease Cost: Increased Lapse-125000.00
Decrease Cost: Retirement Adjustment-126880.00
Decrease Cost: White Flint Project to reflect its conclusion [Regional Services Centers]-200000.00
Decrease Cost: Miscellaneous Operating Expenses [Administration]-563000.00
FY19 APPROVED378176222.85
FY19 APPROVED673200.65
Program Summary
Program NameFY18 APPR
Community Partnership11796848.0012162708.00
Gilchrist Center3526295.504636125.50
Commission for Women1694201.001773821.00
Regional Services Centers11856755.0011838735.00
Future Fiscal Impacts ($000s)
FY19 Approved3782.0000003782.0000003782.0000003782.0000003782.0000003782.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
Annualization of Positions Approved in FY190.00000046.00000046.00000046.00000046.00000046.000000
New positions in the FY19 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.
Labor Contracts0.00000026.00000026.00000026.00000026.00000026.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Subtotal Expenditures3782.0000003854.0000003854.0000003854.0000003854.0000003854.000000
Annualization of Personnel Costs and FTEs
TitleFY19 Approved FY20 Annualized
Temporary to Merit conversion - Gilchrist Center545210.001005550.00