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Pre-Bid Conference RecapRFP Amendment - Step-Up Challenge Grant

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Pre-Bid Conference RecapRFP Amendment - Step-Up Challenge Grant

    AMENDMENT No. One (1)

    July 1, 2003

     Five (5) Pages

    Skills for Youth & First Time Job Entrants 2003-04

    Pre-Bid Conference Recap/RFP Amendment

    1:30 PM; June 26, 2003

NOTE: This recap contains revisions to the RFP and is therefore an official AMENDMENT. The

    deadline for submitting proposals, however, REMAINS - 5:00 PM, July 23, 2003.

    The pre-bid conference for the ‘Skills Training for Youth and First Time Job Entrants 2003-04’ RFP was held as scheduled at the offices of Workforce Florida, Inc. WFI staff briefly discussed the program

    requirements and the process for submitting applications as described in the solicitation. This was a

    ‘non-mandatory’ pre-bid conference and those prospective respondents who were unable to attend may

    still submit a proposal without prejudice. Attendees were reminded that this written pre-bid conference

    recap, distributed via email to all known recipients and posted on the WFI web site, provides the

    official responses to all questions raised prior to and during the pre-bid conference.

Following is a list of attendees at the conference:

    ATTENDEE REPRESENTING

    Maryanne Laird Suncoast Workforce Board

    James Disbro

    Steve Marvin

    Susan Motz Santa Fe CC (Alachua/Bradford Regional Workforce Board)

    Chris Brown

    Michelle Wilcox St. Johns School District First Coast Tech Center

    Gary Lieffers Florida Chamber of Commerce

    Jennifer German Gulf Coast Workforce Board

    Keith Fields First Coast Workforce Development, Inc.

    Will Mikes Workforce Development Board of Okaloosa & Walton Counties

    Paul A. Wiggins North Florida Regional Workforce Board

    Allyson Gibson Alachua/Bradford Regional Workforce Board

    Patricia J. Lee

    Sande Stanfield St. Paul Community Center in Jacksonville

    Sherri Ulleg AMI

    Andra Cornelius Workforce Florida, Inc.

    Mike Johnson

    Stacey Jefferson Agency for Workforce Innovation

    Betty Atkins

1. Procedural issues:

    ? Respondents are encouraged to follow the format and use the headings outlined in Section 7.0.

    Fancy binders, etc. are discouraged.

    ? Limit responses to 20 pages

    ? Proposals will be rated by a committee administered by the Agency for Workforce Innovation

    (AWI). The committee will include AWI and outside raters.

    ? Award notices will be emailed to ALL respondents and posted on the WFI & AWI web sites on

    or about the date indicated in the RFP (July 31); if a respondent has not received an email

    award notice, that means the award has not been finalized. PLEASE DO NOT CALL.

    ? WFI may, at its discretion, negotiate terms and conditions, including cost and the number of

    participants to be served, with any or all respondents. Generally, that arises when WFI attempts

    to make an award to a respondent which has requested more funding than remains after other

    awards have been made.

    ? Section 10.0 describes the two different procedures that will be used depending on whether an

    awardee is a regional workforce board (10.2) or another organization (10.1).

    ? Potential respondents are reminded that Workforce Florida, Inc. is subject to Florida public

    records laws which means that all materials associated with this RFP, including proposals are

    ‘public records’. Upon written request and the payment of costs, proposals may be made

    available to any interested party within ten (10) days after the deadline for proposals or upon

    award, whichever comes first,.

2. Revisions to the RFP:

    a) Successful contracts/grants that result from this RFP may be extended for another year, from July 1, 2004 through June 30, 2005, subject to an evaluation of the contractor’s/grantee’s

    performance and the availability of funds.

The following language shall be added to the last paragraph in Section 2.0 and supersedes any other

    language in the RFP that limits contracts/grants exclusively to one year

    Contracts/grants that result from this RFP will expire on June 30, 2004. At its discretion, however,

    WFI may extend successful contracts/grants for an additional year or until June 30, 2005. Such

    extensions, if they are provided, will require a determination by WFI that the project has been

    successful and will depend on the availability of funds. WFI will be the sole authority for

    determining success of projects and the availability of funds.

b) Respondents are strongly encouraged to collaborate with local organizations or groups that

    should be involved in a project resulting from this RFP; the primary partners in this effort are

    regional workforce boards, business or economic development groups, educational/training

    providers and labor organizations. If any one of these partners is submitting a proposal, it

    should clearly identify its collaborative efforts with the other parties.

    The following language shall REPLACE the current language in Section 7.2.4 (1)

    7.2.4 (1) Respondents are encouraged to expand existing or develop new partnerships with the

    other stakeholders in the area. Those ‘stakeholders’ include regional workforce boards,

    business or economic development groups, educational/training providers and labor

    organizations. WFI purposely lists business ‘groups’ rather than a single employer because it is

    not the intent of this RFP to provide services to a single employer and it is further not the intent

    that a single employer is eligible to respond. A respondent, which is one of these stakeholders,

    should identify its current and proposed efforts to collaborate with the others. This section of

    the proposal will receive 0 10 points.

There will be no automatic points for regional workforce boards. They, like the other eligible

    respondents, will be rated upon how well they have collaborated with other local partners.

c) There is language in the current RFP (Section 5.1) that disallows the duplication of “…existing

    services provided by regional workforce boards…” Contrary to that disallowance, it is the intent

    of the First Jobs/First Wages Council to consider new projects AND to consider the expansion of successful local projects. Therefore, Section 5.1 should be deleted.

The following revised Section 5.1 is to be included in the RFP and supersedes any reference to the

    contrary that might appear elsewhere in the RFP

    5.1 Respondents may propose to seek state-level funding for expansion of a local project that

    has achieved success in reaching the goals set forth in this RFP. If, however, an existing local

    project, even if successful, does not address the goals of this RFP, it may be rejected.

3. Questions/Answers:

Q. Are there any provisions for those who were recipients of one of these grants in the past?

    A. No, there will be no competitive advantage assigned to previous contractors or grantees except in

    the area of ‘qualifications’. A respondent that can demonstrate the ability to perform by citing a

    previous, successful ‘skills training for youth’ project conveys a certain level of qualification. Also, see

    Item 3. above about funding current, successful projects.

    Q. What are approved ‘health services’ and ‘business services’ occupations? A. WFI is attaching an electronic list of occupations it deems to be health and business services

    occupations. WFI’s definition and therefore its consideration for this RFP is limited to one or more of these jobs OR occupations that appear on the regional workforce board’s 2002-03 targeted occupations list. Also, attached is a listing of Florida’s fastest growing industries that shows health services and

    business services at the top. Regional workforce boards are reminded that the occupations on the

    attached list have been authorized for this initiative only; they have not been added to the RWB

    targeted occupations list.

Q. What constitutes a ‘living wage’ as contemplated by this RFP?

    A. 200% of the poverty level ($8.64/hr). WFI understands and accepts, however, that some youth/first

    time job applicants may not be placed at that wage.

    Q. In Section 7.2.1, WFI mentions that costs per participant that are excessive may cause the proposal

    to be rejected; can WFI provide an example of excessive cost/participant or give an acceptable range?

    A. No. WFI does not wish to identify an acceptable level or range for a couple of reasons 1) rather

    than developing an appropriate budget that minimizes costs and maximizes services to participants,

    respondents would tend to start with the cost/participant and develop the overall budget from there and

    that is not WFI’s intent; and 2) costs per participant may vary somewhat depending on the project being offered one that has a high level of intensive services may have a higher cost per participant

    than another that is less complex.

Q. In Section 5.8, WFI mentions a ‘completion point’ in a skills training program; what is a

    completion point?

A. A ‘completion point’ is a term used to identify a point within a larger training program where a

    trainee may have attained a level of skills to qualify for a lower level, or more specialized job. As an

    example, there may be a large set of skills in an overall training program for ‘automotive mechanic’

    but ‘brake specialist’ could be a completion point within the overall automotive mechanic program.

Q. How are ‘first time job entrants’ documented?

    A. There are unemployment data that regional workforce boards have access to that reflect the current

    and recent past employment history of a potential participant. Those data could be used to help validate

    that a potential participant is a first time job entrant. Basically, the contractor/grantee will need to ask

    the question have you ever had full-time employment? and ask the participant to certify that that

    information is correct. In the final analysis, therefore, documentation will rely primarily on the

    participant’s self reporting.

Q. In 6.3 and 6.4 WFI mentions certain reporting and data input requirements; what are the specific

    reporting requirements?

    A. That depends somewhat on the project that is funded. Respondents need to consider that they will

    be asked to report and/or input data that reflects the activities and performances required in the RFP

    and any other performances they might include in their proposal.

Q. The RFP requires that non-regional board contractors must obtain data input training from AWI; do

    they then have to contract with a regional workforce board (RWB) for access to authorized, RWB

    computers in order to input the data themselves?

    A. No, AWI will provide training and a project-specific code so that non-regional workforce board

    contractors can input data through the internet from their own computer.

Q. Will the youth and first time job entrants served under the grant be included in local RWB

    performance indicators or will there be a separate statewide code distinguishing these participants from

    RWB performances (this question does not apply to non-regional board contractors)?

    A. Performances for these participants will be tracked at the state-level under a project-specific code

    provided at the time of the release of the NFA. This RFP does not impose any requirements on RWBs

    for counting activities against local performance requirements than any previous that state level grant.

    In other words, performances under this grant would only count toward local performance

    requirements (red & green) if and to the extent that local funds are used. Again, there is nothing

    relating to local performance requirements in this initiative that differs from previous RFPs and grants.

Q. Are follow-up services to be provided to the youth served under these projects?

    A. Follow-up services are to be provided to meet the requirements of the WIA. Also worth noting is

    that it is WFI’s intent that respondents don’t limit themselves to requirements but think in terms of

    what best suits the needs of the clients they will be serving.

    Q. It is difficult or impossible to achieve the attainment of a ‘degree’ within the timeframe (by June 30, 2004) anticipated under this RFP (see 6.3). How do respondents address that issue?

    A. Several ways the RFP mentions ‘completion points’ which are shorter term exit points within a

    longer program; numerous training programs are well within the time allotted; and there is now a

    provision for some performances to exceed June 30, 2004 (although satisfactory progress must have

    been made prior to that time for the contract/grant to be extended).

Q. Can participants be only youth or only first time job entrants or do they have to be a combination?

    A. They can be either youth or first time job entrants or a combination of the two.

Q. Is Certified Nurses Aide (and other specific occupations included with this question) acceptable?

    A. The occupation must either appear on the attached lists or appear in the regional workforce board’s

    2002-03 targeted occupations list and offers skills training that provides a living wage. Furthermore,

    consideration should be given to the specific circumstances and financial needs of the youth or first

    time job entrant being trained. If a respondent offers a to train for an occupation that does not provide

    for self-sufficiency, it should demonstrate how a career ladder is being established through the project.

Q. Referencing Section 7.2.3 regarding the designation of a project manager, is that the staff person at

    the regional workforce board who is listed as the contact person on Attachment A and would be the

    contact for the grant?

    A. That is whomever is going to manage this project at the regional workforce board. RWBs, who are

    required to subcontract for the delivery of services, should also include their provider’s project

    manager. This section is about rating the level of qualifications the local project team bring to the

    project.

Q. A potential respondent wanted to know how graphs and charts could be created to illustrate the

    project and demonstrate its effectiveness (see 7.2.4) when the project hasn’t begun. A. There is no requirement for charts or graphs. The RFP merely suggests that respondents utilize

    whatever means available to convey the actual outcomes (existing project) or the projected outcomes.

    Projected outcomes could be put in graph form. Respondents are reminded not to spend too much time

    worrying about whether to include graphs or not.

Q. Since it appears there are cases where the persons to be served under this initiative are generically

    labeled ‘youth’ does that mean that youth are the primary emphasis of the initiative?

    A. No, both groups are equally important and any inference to the contrary means that someone is

    reading something into the RFP that is not there. To clarify, wherever you see ‘youth’ in the RFP

    please, in your mind, add ‘first time job entrant’ if it’s not already there.

    NOTE: WFI will not accept further questions regarding this solicitation.

    ________________________

    The deadline for submitting proposals remains

    5:00 PM July 23, 2003

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