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WIA YOUTH SERVICES - REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS (RFQ)

1. Overview
 
The Rogue Workforce Partnership (RWP) is responsible for selecting Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title IB program operators and is authorized to provide oversight of the local One-Stop public workforce system in Southern Oregon's Jackson and Josephine Counties.  The One-Stop System is the workforce services infrastructure of WIA and involves engaging local workforce partners in an increasingly integrated services system model of delivering employment and training services.  Both youth and adults will have access to the One-Stop system.
 
One of the WIA Title IB requirements is the provision of employment and training services to youth, ages 14-21 years old.  The Youth Success Steering Committee, a sub-committee of the RWP, is initiating this Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to determine qualified organizations that are interested in providing youth employment services in Jackson and Josephine Counties.  Contract services can start July 1, 2012, and continue for a period of two (2) years until June 30, 2014, with the possibility of a one-year extension to the two-year contract.  Assuming that historical annual WIA funding allotments over the most recent 2-3 years will be maintained, the annual funding allotment under this RFQ will be approximately $875,000.
 
2. National and Political Environment Factors Potentially Affecting the RFQ
 
The WIA law has not been re-authorized for a number of years.  There is no complete certainty about re-authorization of the law in the immediate future. Prior discussions about the WIA and possible changes to the WIA 1B Youth Program have included a preference for increasing the percentage of out-of-school youth that are required for service under the WIA.  Again, while it is not certain this increasing service level to out-of-school will be enacted, it points out that any potential WIA Youth Program Operator will need to be very flexible in accommodating a Congressional re-authorization of the WIA if the re-authorization occurs and mandates changes to program operations during the contract period of this RFQ.  The contract for this RFQ may need to be amended to be in compliance with a new federal WIA law.
 
3. PARTICIPANT CRITERIA
 
WIA Youth programs will serve low-income, eligible youth ages 14 to 21 years old in both Jackson and Josephine Counties.  The service distribution policy, based on respective populations in each county has been 60% for service in Jackson County and 40% for service in Josephine County.
 
Except as stated in paragraph e below, eligible Youth must meet the following:
 
a. 14-21 years old.
b. Low-income.
c. Youth must also meet at least one of the following criteria:
           
1. Deficient in basic literacy skills.
2. School dropout.
3. Homeless, runaway, or foster child.
4. Pregnant or parenting.
5. Offender.
6. Require additional assistance to complete an educational program, or to secure or hold employment.
 
In addition, other eligibility issues include:
 
d. Youth must be registered to participate in youth programs. Registration is the process of collecting information to support a determination of eligibility, including EEO data.
e. Up to 5% of youth participants may be individuals who do not meet the income criteria, but they must be one of the following:
           
1. School dropout.
2. Basic skills deficient, meaning that they must have English reading, writing or computing skills at or below the 8th grade level on a generally accepted standardized test.
3. Are one or more grade levels below the grade level appropriate to the individual's age.
4. Pregnant or parenting.
5. Possess one or more disabilities, including learning disabilities.
6. Homeless or runaway.
7. Offender.
8. Have serious problems as identified by a school or agency.
 
f. Eligibility for free/reduced lunch in schools does not satisfy the income eligibility criteria.
g. A disabled youth whose family does not meet the income eligibility criteria may qualify if the youth's own income meets either:
 
1. WIA income eligibility, or
2. The income eligibility criteria for cash payments under any Federal, State or local public assistance program.
 
h. At least 30% of youth served under this RFQ must be out-of-school as defined by the Department of Labor.

4. PROGRAM SERVICES
 
WIA (Public Law 105-220) requires that all of the services listed below be available to all youth participants as appropriate:
 
a. Tutoring, study skills training, and instruction leading to secondary school completion, including dropout prevention strategies.
b. Alternative secondary school.
c. Summer employment opportunities directly linked to academic and occupational learning.
d. Paid and unpaid work experiences, including internships and job shadowing.
e. Occupational skill training.
f. Leadership development opportunities, which may include such activities as positive social behavior and soft skills, decision making, teamwork, etc.
g. Supportive services.
h. Adult mentoring for at least 12 months that may occur both during and after program participation.
i. Follow-up services.
j. Comprehensive guidance and counseling include drug and alcohol abuse counseling as well as referrals to other counseling as appropriate.
 
The requirement that these 10 activities be available to WIA youth participants does not imply that the operator must deliver each and every activity.  WIA Youth Program Operators must develop the necessary relationships/partnerships to facilitate youth participant access to individual activities that the operator does not deliver.

5. ADMINISTRATIVE AND PROGRAM MANAGEMENT
 
WIA (Public Law 105-220) requires that service providers have established administrative and program management capacities to successfully deliver, maintain, and report financial and program activities. Additionally, service providers will be required to participate in contract monitoring by local, state or federal agencies, and to comply with recommendations resulting from such monitoring.
 
Provision of WIA youth services will require providers to track and report on the following performance measures:
 
The WIA Youth Program Operator will track and report according to new Department of Labor Common Measures. WIA Youth common performance measures are: 1) Placement in employment or education when youth participants exit the WIA Youth Program; 2) Attainment of a degree or certificate when youth participants exit the WIA Youth Program; and 3) Literacy and numeracy skill gains as measured according to Department of Labor methodologies when youth participants gain those basic skill increases during their participation in the WIA Youth Program.

6. RESPONSE QUESTIONS AND FORMAT
 
RFQ responses must follow the questions and respond to the information requested at the end of this document.
 
7. PROCUREMENT AND CONTRACTING
 
As noted above, the Youth Council is conducting this RFQ on behalf of the RWP.  After closing the RFQ process, the RWP Youth Success Steering Committee will review the proposals submitted to recommend qualified bidders. If only one bidder is determined qualified, the RWP reserves the right to terminate the procurement process and make a formal recommendation to the RWP to negotiate a contract with that bidder.  If more than one bidder is determined qualified, the RWP will invite those bidders to participate in a Request for Proposals (RFP) process.
 
The successful bidder selected to provide services will operate under contract to the RWP, with performance and reporting responsibility to the RWP or its designated representative.  Services may be contracted starting July 1, 2012 and ending June 30, 2014, with an option for extending the contract for an additional year depending on circumstances.  The RWP reserves the right to cancel, alter or terminate this RFQ without notice.  Additionally, the RWP retains the right to request additional information from any bidder.
 
At the completion of the RFQ process, bidders will be notified through regular mail of their status and the RFQ outcome.  The following represents a projected timeline for the RFQ:

DATE ACTION
   May 4, 2012 Open RFQ process
   May 23, 2012 RFQ responses due
   June 7, 2012
 
RVWDC Youth Council reviews proposals and determines qualified bidders
   June 11, 2012 Successful bidders notified


Costs for developing RFQ proposals are solely the responsibility of the individual bidders.  The RWP will not provide reimbursement for such costs.

8. RFQ RESPONSE, DEADLINE AND CONTACT
 
Questions about this RFQ may be addressed to:
 
Tami Allison, Coordinator
Rogue Valley Workforce Development Council
673 Market St.
Medford, OR  97504
TEL:  541-842-2518
FAX:  541-776-0458
email:  tamia@jobcouncil.org
 
All responses to this RFQ must be submitted in person or by mail no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday May 23, 2012.  Faxed copies will not be accepted. Please mail responses to:
 
Rogue Valley Workforce Development Council
WIA Youth RFQ
Attn:  Executive Team Coordinator
673 Market St.
Medford, OR  97504
 
All responses to this RFQ must be submitted to the above address only. All responses will be held unopened until the RFQ closes at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23, 2012.

RFQ RESPONSE QUESTIONS AND FORMAT


All RFQ responses must supply the information listed below in the sequence and format provided. Responses should be limited to five pages or less. Additional attachments may be provided, as noted.
 
1. Letter of Transmittal
 
a. State the RFQ subject, name of the bidderís organization, and reason for responding to the RFQ.
b. Provide address, telephone and fax number, name of the contact person, and date.
c. State the name of the person who has authorization to bind the organization under contract.
d. This letter should be signed by the authorized individual, approving the organizationís RFQ submission.
 
2. Profile of the Organization
 
a. Provide the address of the organizationís offices from which services are offered in both Jackson and Josephine Counties. If no local offices currently exist, describe how services will be delivered. State whether the organization is local, regional or national.
b. Describe in general the organizationís business, services it provides and populations it serves.
c. Provide information that describes how the organization was formed. This should include a narrative that states whether the organization is a government, private non-profit or private for-profit organization.
d. Provide a list of the organizationís senior management and Board of Directors (if so organized). (If desired, an organizational chart may be provided as an attachment.)
 
3. RFQ Qualifications Criteria
 
a. Staff Qualifications
 
1. List the names of the program staff that are expected to provide services relevant to this RFQ and briefly highlight their professional background, licenses, credentials, etc. relevant to those services. If the staff does not currently exist, provide a description of how staffing capacity and expertise would be developed to provide these services.
 
b. Organizational Track Record Delivering Youth Employment and Training Services
 
1. Please describe the organizationís experience delivering youth employment and training services, and, in particular, the track record the organization has in administering WIA Youth Programs and its history of successfully meeting contract performance measure goals.  Describe any local, state or national awards/recognitions for exceptional program operations or program outcomes achieved.
 
2. Recognizing that outreaching to out-of-school youth and retaining those out-of-school youth in programs is challenging, describe the organizationís experience recruiting and retaining this population in program operations.
 
3. Describe the organizationís experience delivering any of the 10 elements of WIA 1B Youth Programs as outlined in Section 4 Ė Program Services.
 
c. Track Record and/or Ability of Organization to Leverage RFQ Funding to Enhance WIA Youth Participant Experiences
 
1. Please list respective relationships/partnerships that are currently in place or expected to be in place, and what added support or enhanced activity the partnership provides/would provide to WIA 1B Youth Program participants.
 
2. Please list the organizationís record of applying for and securing financial resources that have enhanced the organizationís experience of delivering youth employment and training services, particularly describing any enhancements to WIA Youth Program experience from state, local, federal and private resources.









  PowerUp is a partnership of the Rogue Workforce Partnership, The Job Council, Child Care Resource Network, Rogue Community College, and Southern Oregon University. Some trainings may be funded in part with Child Care Development Funds administered by the Child Care Division of the Oregon Employment Department. Auxiliary aides and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. WORKSOURCE OREGON - Equal Opportunity Program

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