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Step-Up Challenge Grant Solicitation

By Brenda Dunn,2014-06-17 23:25
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Step-Up Challenge Grant Solicitation

    Skills Upgrade Training Challenge for 2002-03

    Pre-Bid Conference Recap

    July 12, 2002; 3:00 PM

    NOTICE:

    Staff from the Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI) will be

    relocating soon and WFI therefore is announcing that proposals

    should be submitted directly to WFI as follows

     Workforce Florida, Inc.

    1974 Commonwealth Lane

     Tallahassee, FL 32303

    ATTN: Mike Johnson

For those respondents that may be submitting by overnight

    express and need to include a phone number for WFI, please use

    850-921-1119.

The pre-bid conference for the Request for Proposals titled, “Skills Upgrade Training Challenge for

    2002-03”, was held as scheduled at the offices of Workforce Florida, Inc. WFI staff briefly discussed

    the program requirements and the process for submitting proposals as described in the RFP. This was a

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

    still submit a proposal without prejudice. Following is a list of attendees at the conference:

    ATTENDEE REPRESENTING

    Julie Gainey St. Petersburg College

    Albert Llodra Concurrent Technologies Corporation

    Judy Culbreath Workforce Florida, Inc.

    Mike Johnson Workforce Florida, Inc.

    1. Attendees were reminded of several procedural issues

    ? This RFP allows both regional workforce boards and other organizations to respond. There is a

    slightly different contract or grant process for each group. Non-regional workforce board

    respondents, if selected for award, will enter into a performance-based contract with the

    Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI). On the other hand, WFI does not normally

    contract” with regional workforce boards but uses a process whereby funds are made

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    available to them for accomplishment of a project. In that sense, regional workforce boards are

    grantees’ rather than contractors. The contracts resulting from this initiative will be

    „performance-based‟ which means that payments under those contracts will be made for

    specific deliverables (see 5.0). WFI is required by law to utilize only performance-based

    contracts.

    ? In addition to regional workforce boards, other organizations that are eligible to respond to this

    RFP must be some type of business association/collaboration/partnership. In addition to

    regional workforce boards (RWBs), Section 3.0 limits respondents to “…private industry

    consortiums, multi-employer consortiums, business associations, economic development

    organizations, chambers of commerce, non-profit business assistance organizations…” Clearly,

    it is the intent of this RFP to contract with business entities or RWBs. A „multi-employer

    consortium” may be put together specifically for this initiative and would be eligible. Entities

    that ARE NOT eligible to offer a proposal to WFI are public/private vocational training

    providers and single employers. RWBs may, however, specify a single employer in their

    proposals.

    ? The intent of this initiative is to upgrade skills so only incumbent workers (those already

    employed) are eligible for services.

    ? Respondents must identify the target industry(ies) from Attachment I that their project

    addresses in their response (see 4.0).

    ? Any IT training that is proposed must be company or industry specific or customized training

    that is required by the specific employer(s) indicated. This initiative does not anticipate general

    computer training that is not employer specific. It must be training that an employer deems to

    be required to provide needed skills in the workplace.

    ? To clarify Section 4.4 WFI is interested in projects that can/will be sustained beyond the

    state-level funding for this initiative (6/30/03). Section 4.4 is intended to point out merely that

    these funds must be earned by June 30, 2003, and so any training that is to be paid out of these

    funds must be completed and paid by that date.

    ? Respondents must specify how they have leveraged other finds to help support the project.

    Those leveraged funds can be local RWB funds, employer funds (either cash or in-kind) or

    training provider funds. Examples of each

    1) Local RWB funds regional workforce boards may choose to offset some of

    the cost of training by committing to spend some of their own local dollars for

    the project.

    2) Employer funds could be cash to offset some of the direct cost of training or

    in-kind contributions such as providing space, equipment or even providing an

    employed trainer or providing wages to trainees while they obtain training, etc.

    3) Provider funds could be in the form of reduced rates for training or

    providing special scheduling accommodations for training such as night or

    weekend training or on-site training.

    ? Proposal submittals limit responses to 20 pages; send responses to the Agency for Workforce

    Innovation (see 10.0); please follow recommended format (see 6.0) and label each section;

    Section 6.2.3 is the major component of the proposal with 70 possible points.

    ? Non-RWB respondents should include their memo of understanding or proof of an agreement

    with the local RWB for data entry in Section 3.

    ? Utilizing an evaluation team that will include program specialists as well as economic

    development professionals, the Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI) will rate responses,

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    provide findings to WFI which will make the award decision; AWI will then notify all

    respondents and AWI/WFI will post the decision on their web sites. For non-regional

    workforce board organizations, AWI will commence contract negotiations after the award has

    been made. The Notice of Funds Availability used to send funds to regional workforce boards

    (RWB) will contain performance parameters based on this solicitation and the proposal from

    the RWB.

    ? Regional workforce boards are required to sign and submit the attached Proposal

    Summary/Project Verification sheet. Non-regional workforce board respondents (that is

    business entities) DO NOT have to submit this form.

    ? Of particular interest to regional workforce boards who may submit a proposal and have a

    question regarding the selection of a provider(s) for this initiative. RWBs utilize a list of

    eligible providers for the training they acquire with their own local, formula dollars. They may

    use a provider from their eligible list or use another provider including the business as a

    provider. RWBs are therefore advised

    The competitive process included in this RFP is deemed to satisfy any local, RWB

    procurement requirement for competition. RWBs may select any provider(s) for this

    project without obtaining local competition as the WFI competitive selection process

    will constitute competition and thereby satisfy local procurement requirements. RWBs

    may, of course, choose to select a provider(s) competitively or use a provider(s) on their

    list of eligible providers if they wish.

? There was some discussion about „value-added‟ services mentioned in 6.2.4. Value-added

    services are any services that are not specifically required in the RFP, but are offered as an

    additive to enhance the respondent‟s proposal. Such services must comport with the overall

    intent of the initiative and must be offered at no additional charge to WFI. WFI is reluctant to

    use examples because to do so would intimate that the example is acceptable and, if included in

    a proposal, would receive points under 6.2.4.

    ? There was discussion about payable performances under a contract (or a Notice of Funds

    Availability) resulting from this RFP. The primary performance required is the completion of

    skills upgrade training that may include a certification or may just be the completion of a

    course, customized or otherwise. WFI will provide a twenty-five percent (25%) advance to a

    contractor which in turn would have to be amortized through specified performances. WFI may

    also authorize minimal payments for training „enrollments‟ but the majority of payments will

    be reserved for program „completions.‟ Respondents should understand that it is not the intent

    of WFI merely to „enroll‟ incumbent workers in training it is clearly the intent of this RFP to

    „complete‟ workers in this training. Payments will be set up accordingly.

    ? DEADLINE for the submittal of proposals remains 5:00 PM, July 22, 2002. REMINDER _

    Proposals are to be sent directly to Workforce Florida, Inc., 1974 Commonwealth Lane,

    Tallahassee, FL 32303.

    2. Questions/Answers:

    Q. A regional workforce board indicates it is considering several different, unrelated projects and

    wants to know if it would be best to submit a separate proposal for each or one proposal including all

    the projects.

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    A. WFI cannot answer that question. Each proposal will be rated on its own merit. Obviously the intent of this RFP is to fund collaborative efforts and so RWBs, while they may submit single employer

    proposals, would be well advised to keep that intent in mind.

    Q. The target industries list (Attachment I) states that only businesses serving multi-state and/or international markets are targeted. A potential respondent wanted to know if a local target industry

    such as healthcare would be eligible.

    A. No. The language regarding a multi-state or international business is very specifically included in

    this RFP for good reason. The High Skills/High Wages Council of WFI wants its limited training

    funding to focus on Florida‟s target industry sectors, those sectors that have been determined to

    provide the greatest economic input to our economy. Companies within these sectors that are eligible

    export goods and services outside the state. They bring revenue into the state rather than re-circulating it within the state as a local business would do. Healthcare, while very important and suffering from

    supply shortages, is not the target of this initiative. There are other initiatives, including local regional workforce dollars, that can more appropriately address the healthcare issue.

    Q. Are employee leasing or employee staffing agencies eligible for training under this initiative? A. No. Leasing or staffing agencies are not included on the target industries list (Attachment I).

    Q. Would training that businesses conduct with their own staff and done on their site be eligible? A. Yes.

    Q. Similar to above, would an industry association or partnership that provides training be eligible to provide training under this initiative?

    A. Yes. The recipients for that training, however, would still need to be incumbent workers in a target industry.

Q. Would customized IT training need to include a national certification?

    A. No. Training course „completions‟ as well as „certifications‟ are the object of this initiative. In other words, there could be provided customized IT training that is business specific but has no certification

    and the deliverable for that type of training would be a completion most customized training in fact,

    would not have a national certification.

    Q. Will a potential provider for this initiative that was also a provider for a similar project last year be penalized during evaluations? Similarly, if some of the businesses that were included in a previous

    grant are proposed to be include in this one, would that be a problem?

    A. No. Raters are not going to be comparing this initiative with any previous initiative. NOTE: Public/private postsecondary vocational training providers MAY NOT submit a proposal directly.

Q. This RFP does not have a „small business‟ focus.

    A. That is correct.

Q. Do all the trainees have to be Florida residents?

    A. Yes.

    Q. A provider asked if WFI paid only for completions would it be requiring providers to ensure a 100% completion rate?

    A. No. WFI is not contracting with any training providers. Either RWBs or business groups identified in 3.0 will be contracting with training providers. As with most deliverables that focus on completions,

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    there is an expectation that more trainees will be enrolled than will finish. Covering those costs will be a decision between the respondent and the provider(s) it partners with. Understand that this population that is incumbent workers who are selected by the employer for upgrades training is quite different

    form the general population and there is an expectation that the completion rate would be very high.

    Q. Is this payment arrangement different from that listed in the Targeted Industry Sector Training Challenge from last year?

    A. This RFP is separate and distinct from any previous solicitation.

Q. Will an educational institution be paid for non-completers?

    A. This RFP will result in a contract with a business organization, not a training provider. Arrangements between the provider and the business group or RWB submitting the proposal will have

    to be agreeable to those parties.

    Q. Can a RWB submit more than one proposal and, if so, will it hurt its chances of being awarded a grant?

    A. Yes, a RWB may submit as many proposals as it wishes. Each proposal will stand on its own merit and will be rated separately.

Q. Can the „leveraged funds‟ mentioned throughout (see 4.4) be in-kind services?

    A. Yes, but the respondent needs to be able to place a value on those in-kind services. The intent here is twofold leveraged funds (cash or in-kind) reflect an investment in the project increase the chance

    for success and leveraged funds increase the sustainability of the project beyond this particular

    initiative.

Q. How does WFI define administrative costs?

    A. Basically, administrative costs are those that are not associated with direct services to the incumbent workers to be served.

     Q. This RFP does not mention gathering and reporting the date of birth of incumbent workers as previous solicitations have. Reporting DOB may cause some employers confidentiality problems. How

    is that addressed?

    A. WFI and the Agency for Workforce Innovation are under strict federal and state requirements to maintain the confidentiality of participants (Chapter 443, Florida Statutes and 45 CFR 205.50 of the

    Federal Register).

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    DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS

    ______

    July 22, 2002; 5:00 PM, EDT

REMEMBER Submit proposals directly to Workforce Florida,

    Inc., 1974 Commonwealth Lane, Tallahassee 32303.

NOTE: The attached form only has to be completed, signed and submitted by

    regional workforce boards. Other respondents (business organizations) must complete, sign and submit the Proposal Transmittal (Attachment II) with

    their proposal.

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    PROPOSAL SUMMARY/PROJECT VERIFICATION

    PLEASE NOTE: Fill this page out in its entirety (including the deliverables/performance attachment) and submit as an official part of proposal responding to a solicitation from

    Workforce Florida, Inc. (state level funds). Failure to submit this executed document as part of

    a proposal, shall automatically determine the proposal as unresponsive and such a proposal will

    not be evaluated. Should the proposal, of which this document is a part, generate funding, this page shall be considered a plan amendment to the local five-year plan. If the proposal does not

    generate funding, this page shall be considered null and void.

    IDENTIFICATION SECTION

    Region Number and Name_______________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Title of Project as Described in This Proposal_______________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    Total Amount of Funds Requested in This Proposal__________________________________

    Funds Awarded (if different than above) (AWI fills in this line-if needed)_______________

    Source of Funds (please circle) WIA TANF W-t-W Other (name)_________________

    In a very succinct, short, but descriptive paragraph describe the project represented in this

    proposal___________________________________________________________________________

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________

    AUTHORIZATION AND VERIFICATION SECTION The signature below verifies that the Executive Director, or equivalent chief executive officer,

    accepts the responsibility to inform the Regional Board Chair and the Board of the additional

    funding this proposal represents and the associated commitments represented therein. It also is

    acceptance of reporting performances on a monthly basis as described in the contract or NFA

    instructions. Failure to adhere to the requirements on this signed page, with attachment, and

    failure to perform as described in the proposal may result in a freezing of funds whether through

    a contract or a Notice of Fund Availability (NFA) process.

Executive Director Signature____________________________________________________

Printed Name and Title_________________________________________________________

Date of Signing________________________________________________________________

    Page 1 of 2

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    (Continued)

    Expected Deliverables and Performances

Deliverables are defined as those products that are produced by the project; depending on the category

    type (please reference the grant solicitation), this could vary. When participants are involved (category

    1) this translates into enrollments, completion of training, appropriate credentialing, job placement, and

    wages after a specified period of time on the job. In other instances the deliverable could be the

    development of a specific product as in a detailed course curriculum or even a defined service.

Performances are defined as the amount and or quality of the deliverables depending on what the

    deliverables are. With participants this normally means how many relative to enrollments,

    completions, job placements, etc. When services are quantitative, products such as a specified

    conference, an identifiable training mechanism, (Category 3) and other such items the performance is

    the delivery, acceptance and quantity of the described product.

Please summarize below, in abbreviated form, the deliverables and performances that are included in

    the proposal as submitted:

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