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RFP-Sector Strategy Consultants Questions and Answers

Maher & Maher: QUESTIONS ON MISSOURI RFP
For Consultant Sector Strategies and Workforce Development Planning

1. One of your evaluation criteria states “Cost – Proposed fee for services is within budget and reasonable for the scope of the project”. There are a number of ways to approach some of the key tasks discussed in this RFP. As examples, the number of meetings and staff members to plan and budget for per region, and the depth and scope of the asset mapping task, would be described and undertaken differently depending on the resources available. As we would certainly like to prepare the best and most comprehensive approach possible “within budget”, can you tell us a top line or bottom line figure you have in mind for funding this project? Although we cannot give you a top or bottom line figure, the successful contractor should submit a budget that takes into consideration a full and comprehensive approach to the scope of work being requested. The successful contractor should be prepared to provide in-depth support in each of the 10 Economic Development regions, working closely with the 14 Workforce Investment Boards, 12 Community Colleges, and other key stakeholders within the region.

2. Discussions of items you would like to see in a Toolkit appear throughout the RFP, and all are good ideas. However, it is not specified whether you foresee the Toolkit as an online set of resources, or delivered in a more conventional fashion such as a hardcopy binder of materials. Please clarify your expectation as to whether the Toolkit should be web-based. The Toolkit should be web-based with the capability to print to a binder if desired.

3. The RFP cover states a project delivery date of August 1, 2015 – August 1, 2016. However, the data work, the initial statewide launch meeting and the individual regional launch meetings would all logically precede your requirement to “Collaborate with Local Workforce Development Regions in developing their local Workforce Development Plan by December 2015;” As we are developing a draft timeline and wanted to clarify which components need to be completed before the end of the year, we have two questions:

• Did you intend that the collaboration on Local Workforce Plan development precede the development of individual strategies in the respective regions? We intend that both the initial statewide collaboration launch and the Local Workforce Plan development precede the actual regional sector launch meetings and will be completed prior to the end of the year.
• That is, are you expecting that the local Workforce Development Plans would include the plan to develop individual sector strategies in each region, as opposed to the developed strategies themselves?
Yes, we are intending for the local Workforce Development Plans to include the plan to develop individual sector strategies in each region. The data work and initial statewide launch meeting will provide the framework and direction in how regional plans will develop and launch their sector strategies within their defined region.
4. Pg 7 – “Proposals may be hand delivered, emailed or mailed to the following address”. However, page 7 also states “One copy of the proposal with original signatures clearly labeled “ORIGINAL.” Does that mean that an electronically scanned original signature will be accepted as “original” on a proposal that is transmitted via e mail rather than hard copy? We will accept the scanned copy under the time line but you will need to mail an ORIGINAL for our files.

5. Pg 7 – Questions regarding length of proposal:

• Do the one page Executive Summary and the one page Cost Proposal/Budget count against the 8-page limit on the proposal? No
• May project staff resumes be included as an Appendix that would not count against the 8 page limitation? Yes
• Would a proper, full submission consist solely of the following: Yes

 Cover letter
 One Page Exec Summary
 Eight page proposal
 One page budget
 Three required attachments

6. Pg 2 – DATA: Is the “initial industry analysis“ prepared by MERIC available for review now? Yes.

7. WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PLANNING: Pages 3, 4 and 5 all refer to the need for consultants to “collaborate with Local Workforce Development Regions in developing their local Workforce Development Plan by December 2015”. However, sector strategy and career pathway development, which constitute the primary focus of this RFP, represent only part of the Local Workforce Development Plans that will be required by ETA (and the State). Two questions:

• Is it intended that the consultant be responsible for ensuring that the totality of those plans are completed by that year end date, or that the regions be advised on how to complete the sectors and pathways portions of their Plan? The consultant will not be responsible for the totality of the local Workforce Development Plans; only the sector strategies and career pathways portion of the Plan.
• Has the State developed its local plan requirements, and can they be made available to inform our approach to this task? The local plan requirements are defined within WIOA. The State has not developed additional plan requirements.

8. Page 5 requires the consultant to “Conduct local asset mapping”. Is it intended that this be done for each of the 14 local workforce regions, or the ten Economic Development regions? Ten Economic Regions

9. Your discussion at “Phase III: Industry Engagement and Launch Meetings “ requires that the consultant “Conduct local asset mapping to identify… .” However, your Deliverables section only requires the consultant to “Develop a framework, guidelines and recommended milestones for completing community asset mapping…”

Are you requiring that the consultant actually complete the asset maps, as indicated in the Phase III discussion, or provide a framework, etc., as discussed in the Deliverables section? We are requiring the consultant to both complete the asset mapping and provide best practice guidance/framework of the asset mapping process to assist with future asset mapping beyond the scope of this contract.

10. Can you please give us an indication, or a list, of the people who will be evaluating, scoring and making the final decision on proposals? In lieu of specifics, it would help to know the types of positions and organizations that would be represented on the assessment group. There will be at least two Workforce Investment Board State Directors and two from Missouri Division of Workforce Development staff.

11. “Workforce Development Planning”, as described on page 3 of the RFP, requires the consultant to “Engage in facilitating workforce development planning aimed at compliance with the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) for two distinct target groups:

a. Staff involved in the State Strategic Workforce Development Plan; and,
b. Staff at fourteen Local Workforce Development Regions involved in local Strategic Workforce Development Planning.”

The nature and content of that engagement is clear for the second group – the workforce regions. However, there is no deliverable listed related to engagement on the State Plan. Can you describe the expectation related to the State Plan? To provide a comprehensive summary of all of the local Workforce Developments plans as it relates to sector strategies and career pathways to all State staff involved in developing the State Strategic Workforce Development Plan. This comprehensive summary will be included as part of the State’s Workforce Development Plan.