All Fuel assistance households have seen a decrease in their benefits this heating season. A few factors impacted the lower benefits. Due to the increase demand of the program, we ran out of funding last heating season and had to shut the program down early. Unfortunately, many applicants went without a benefit last season, and we are attempting to help as many Mainers as possible. Over the past few years, we have had extra funding due to COVID pandemic relief funding however we are now back to normal funding levels.
After a lengthy national search that began in July, the Board of Community Concepts has appointed James R. Martin as the next Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Martin will assume this position no later than January 3, 2023.
Mr. Martin is currently Chief Program Officer at Sweetser, an agency with 600 employees that provides a statewide comprehensive network of behavioral health services for children, adults, and families throughout Maine. Prior to assuming his role at Sweetser, Mr. Martin held a variety of positions in the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, including Director of the Offices of Child and Family Services and of Aging and Disability Services. Earlier in his career, Mr. Martin served as a Child Protection Case Worker in DHHS’s Lewiston office, which familiarized him both with the Lewiston-Auburn region and with the work of CCI.
Mr. Martin holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of New England, where he has also served as an adjunct professor. He has been appointed to both state and national boards and committees. Mr. Martin and his family reside in Raymond, Maine.
The Board is excited to bring on board someone with Jim’s wide-ranging experience in providing social services to Maine residents and who is deeply committed to providing pathways to economic stability for individuals and families in our region.
When informed of his selection, Mr. Martin responded by saying: “I am pleased and honored for the opportunity to serve the residents of our region and to direct an organization that has deeply committed employees and a history of excellence in community service. I look forward to working with the Board and our staff to build on and enhance that history.”
Mr. Martin plans to spend much of his time early in his tenure becoming familiar with CCI’s staff and programs and meeting with our partners, friends, and supporters.