EKCEP Request for Proposal for Youth Workforce Services

Services to be performed for a period that includes the 2019-20 Program Year and the 2020-21 Program Year

CLICK HERE FOR A PDF OF THE FULL REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL. 

The Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP), Inc., is soliciting services for organizations to deliver Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program services to eligible youth in one, several, or all of the counties in the Eastern Kentucky C.E.P. local workforce area.

The target population for these services is out-of-school youth ages 18-24 who qualify under WIOA as “offenders” (i.e., they are or have been subject to any stage of the criminal justice process). EKCEP desires a community-based program to address essential life and work skills, training, career coaching, and support services, using structured curricula in a progression that leads each youth to attain an industry-recognized credential and unsubsidized employment as a part of a career path that leads toward a high-wage, high-demand occupation.

Questions may be submitted to rfp@ekcep.org.  Answers will be posted to this webpage as questions are received.  Proposals are due by COB May 24, 2019.

The bidder’s conference will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10 at the Kentucky Career Center JobSight, 412 Roy Campbell Drive in Hazard. EKCEP staff will be on hand during this question-and-answer session to address any questions your organization may have regarding the RFP. Your attendance is completely voluntary, and choosing not attend the bidder’s conference will have no effect on the evaluation of your proposal.

Additionally, answers to any major questions will be posted online at this web page as soon as possible following the session.

Eastern Kentucky C.E.P. (EKCEP), Inc. is a non-profit corporation that serves as the administrative entity and staff for the Eastern Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board. The Eastern Kentucky C.E.P. local workforce area consists of these 23 counties in far Eastern Kentucky: Bell, Breathitt, Carter, Clay, Elliott, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Wolfe.

Hard copies should be sent to:

EKCEP, Inc.

Attn: Sharon Poff

412 Roy Campbell Drive, Suite 100

Hazard, Kentucky 41701

The electronic copy should be emailed to: RFP@EKCEP.org

See the full RFP for submission instructions.

CLICK HERE FOR A PDF OF THE FULL REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL. 

 

YOUTH RFP 2019 Bidder’s Questions 

QUESTION

Is there any way to extend the deadline for this RFP?  This would help provide time to make all the required connections and develop a program plan. The development of a complete and detailed plan for the Youth Program will take a lot of time and will be difficult by the current deadline.

ANSWER

EKCEP realizes that the timeline is aggressive. However, it is necessary due to the requirement that the Eastern Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board (EKWIB) review proposals and approve any contracts in time for them to be in place by the July 1 beginning of the 2019-20 program year. Additionally, it would create a procurement fairness issue to move the due date now after the RFP has been posted, because potential bidders who may have seen the RFP and decided not to submit a proposal because of the timeline would have been unfairly eliminated from submitting a proposal by the later, revised due date.

Regarding development of a complete and detailed plan for the Youth Program, the RFP states that the successful bidder(s) will be required to participate in a three-month facilitated planning and development process to establish the details of the Youth Program they will implement. All details do not have to be figured out by the submission deadline of the RFP. Questions in the RFP are intended to assess the bidder’s understanding of important subject matter, their communities, and competence to facilitate a collaborative and community-based model of service delivery.

QUESTION

Explaining the program to judges, partners, and employers and then convincing them to participate will take a lot of time. And this will be more difficult if we don't yet have a good solid plan to present to them. Without a solid plan, it will be especially difficult to convince judges and the court system to require offenders to participate in the program.

ANSWER

For clarification:  The RFP does not require judges or courts to commit to requiring youth to participate in a bidder’s Youth Program at this time. The RFP does ask for letters evidencing that the program’s intentions and objectives have been discussed with local judges and/or court officials and that these officials have an interest in and commit to supporting the bidder in the program design — which may be fully defined and accomplished after the contract is awarded. The relevant passage is: “Provide letters from the local courts and criminal justice system documenting their interest in and commitment to supporting your organization in this program design.” EKCEP has presented the intentions and objectives of the general program design reflected in this RFP to a judge who is a member of the EKWIB’s Youth Committee and representatives of the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort, and have received their endorsement and support. The RFP only asks for similar engagement from local judges and court representatives. We believe the RFP itself outlines the plan well enough to get this support for the bidder's effort.

QUESTION

Are we required to have commitments from local employers to hire offenders? 

ANSWER

The RFP does not require the bidder(s) to convince employers to commit to hiring young offenders or to document such a commitment. It does ask each bidder to identify the potential employers in key sectors that exist in the area to be served, and to identify the types of credentials youth would need to become employable by these businesses. Obviously, not every employer will be willing or able to hire young offenders, and not every occupational opportunity within these sectors will require a credential prior to hiring (or starting an apprenticeship or internship). These RPF questions ask for information that will serve as the basis or program strategy and elements.

QUESTION:

Will this Eastern Kentucky Youth Program serve In-School Youth?

ANSWER:     

The intention is to serve 90 to 100 % Out-of-School Youth ages 18 to 24, as described in the ‘Target Population” section of the Request for Proposals.  A few youths who qualify as In-School Youths may be referred by the courts or criminal justice system and therefore be served, but the intention is focus entirely on Out-of-School Youth. 

QUESTION:   

Must all youth served by this program be referred by the courts?

ANSWER:     

The intention of this Youth Program design is for almost all youth who are served to have been referred by the courts because that is the most logical source of youthful offenders.  However, other Out-of-School Youth who qualify as offenders may be served if the program operator has other ideas about sources of referrals or recruiting methods.  Alternate sources of referrals may be discussed and approved during the three-month planning, strategy, and curricula development phase that begins the contract period.

QUESTION:   

Will contractors be enrolling and serving youth participants during the three-month planning, strategy, and curricula development phase that begins the contract?

ANSWER:     

No. The first job for organizations that are awarded a contract under this RFP will be to participate in group, area-wide planning, strategy, and curricula development with EKCEP and any other contract awardees. Once planning, strategy, and curricula are developed,  enrollments for services can begin.

QUESTION:   

At what point during a youth’s progression through the criminal justice system will the referral to this Youth Program occur?

ANSWER:     

The appropriate time for referrals to occur will be decided collaboratively by the Youth Program provider and the local court systems in the area that it serves. Local courts in different areas may have differing opinions about what is the appropriate juncture to recommend and/or refer youths to participation in the Youth Program.

QUESTION:   

Can EKCEP or the EKWIB provide additional guidance on number of participants organizations should propose to serve in specific areas?

ANSWER:     

No. Respondents that propose to serve only a portion of EKCEP’s 23-county service area should estimate the percentage of the EKCEP area and population that their proposed service area represents, assess their own capacity, and decide upon a number that fairly represents their portion of EKCEP’s overall goal of serving 200 to 250 total youth area-wide in year one.

QUESTION:   

Can EKCEP or the EKWIB provide additional guidance on the budgets organizations should propose to serve in specific areas?

ANSWER:     

No. Respondents that propose to serve only a portion of EKCEP’s 23-county service area should estimate the percentage of the EKCEP area and population that their proposed service area represents, assess their own capacity and the number of participants they intend to serve, and decide upon a budget amount that fairly represents their portion of EKCEP’s overall goal of spending approximately $3 million on the Youth Program area-wide in year one.

QUESTION:   

Is there a specific number of letters of support required by the RFP?

ANSWER:     

No. The letters of support are called for by the RFP in order to demonstrate the responding organization’s connections with and integration in the appropriate partners in the communities that they propose to serve.  Obviously, the number of partners may vary in different portions of EKCEP’s service area.  The letters also demonstrate that the responding organization has or is developing relationships with the courts and other partner organizations that will be crucial to the success of this Youth Program.

QUESTION:   

Is it acceptable for the Adult Mentoring that is a required element of WIOA Youth Programs to be performed by young adults (21-24) even though they may be younger than the participants they are mentoring, who may be as old as 24?

ANSWER:     

Yes. Young adult mentors who are carefully chosen and vetted may well be significantly more mature than the young offenders they are helping, despite having similar chronological ages. 

QUESTION:   

Can you clarify in question i. when it says “coordinate workflow with the partner agencies named under section c. above.”? We are having trouble identifying the location of the partners to include based on a section c.

ANSWER:     

That is a typographical error. The question should refer to section g:  “coordinate workflow with the partner agencies named under section g. above.” Thank you for bringing that error to our attention.