WIOA Youth Services RFP Questions and Answers Bidders Conference 1. Our organization has an independent audit annually. Is this sufficient to meet the audit requirement or must a single program audit be conducted? If so, can this be billed to the program? The type of audit required is dependent on the organization’s budget. Audit requirements are determined by Federal (OMB) and State of South Carolina requirements. The MWDB does not add additional requirements. If an organization is currently operating State and/or Federal programs, it is likely they will meet the audit requirements of this solicitation. The portion of the audit related to the Midlands WIOA program can be billed in the future to the WIOA grant. 2. Can a profit percentage be added to a fixed price budget? In a fixed price contract, payments are based on achievement of agreed upon performance benchmarks. Any earned revenue above and beyond the actual costs of the program is considered either profit (for-profit organizations) or program income (governmental and nonprofit organizations). For governmental and non-profit organizations, the program income must be used to provide additional ETA-funded services or accounted for with already recorded allowable grant expenditures that were not paid by the grant. 3. Can the performance based budget be invoiced monthly with fixed costs and guaranteed base percentage of profit with additional profit for exceeding performance measures? Guidance from USDOL regarding WIOA is not yet released. The law specifically noted fixed price performance based contracts but offers no guidelines. Currently all we have is guidance regarding WIA. They did address fixed price/performance based contracts (FP/PBC) as a part of the Technical Assistance Guide (TAG) issued in July 2011 for Workforce Investment Act programs. It can be found at http://www.doleta.gov/grants/pdf/TAG_PartII_July2011.pdf. The language for FP/PBC can be found beginning on page 139. Specifically it notes that payments are issued on delivery of agreed upon measureable outcomes. Additionally, revenue earned that exceeds actual costs is treated as program income when the contractor is a governmental or non-profit organization. There are specifics on how program income may be used also addressed in the TAG. At this time, our guidance is to treat WIOA in accordance with the current WIA guidance we have. As such, the MWDB accepts invoices on a monthly basis but will only pay for the benchmarks earned when the contract is a fixed price/performance based contract. Cost reimbursement contracts are also permissible. 4. Can the performance based budget be invoiced monthly with fixed costs along with a base percentage of profit? Can an additional incentive then be negotiated for meeting/exceeding performance measures? See question #3 for the specific citations but at this time the MWDB would expect monthly invoices from all contractors. In the instance of a fixed price/performance based contract, payment will be rendered for achieved benchmarks only. It is expected that fixed price/performance based contracts would earn payment beyond actual costs when meeting or exceeding the performance benchmarks negotiated for the contract. Because this type of contract risks the financial loss associated with a failed program, efficient and effective programs would likely earn in excess of the actual costs (profit). 5. Can the performance based budget be invoiced monthly for cost reimbursement for salaries and operations with a profit charged for performance? WIOA Youth Services RFP Questions and Answers Bidders Conference Questions #3 and #4 cite the USDOL guidance in place for Employment and Training programs to date. Payments for the grant are based on the achievement of benchmarks leading to the successful performance of the individuals served by the grant and thus the success of the grant. Multiple benchmarks may be establish for incremental measurement of the success of the program and considered on a monthly basis in alignment with the monthly invoicing to the MWDB. 6. Is the proposed service level requested in the RFP the number of participants we should anticipate serving? Yes, the proposed service level included in the RFP is a round number of participants anticipated to be served with the funds included in the RFP. 7. Does the $800,000 for the youth budget include training and supportive service dollars or just operations? If it does include training and supportive services, what is the percentage of each? Yes, the $800,000 in the RFP includes the full range of services included in the RFP for the threecounty area. There is not a required percentage of funds allocated to training and supportive services as a category. However, there is a federal requirement of all Youth funds (included in this RFP and allocated for oversight) spend a minimum of 20% on work-based learning activities (a combination of work experience, internships, and On-the-Job Training). The Midlands has set a minimum of 28% of the RFP budget be set-aside for direct work-based learning (page 5, Section C). The bidder should budget accordingly and ensure the minimum is not only budgeted but also expend the minimum of $224,000 on direct work-based learning activities (participant payments only). Also, 80% of the funds must be spent on Out of School Youth. 8. Who provides the equipment for the staff? Does this include computers, telephones and cell phones? There is existing equipment for the staff to use that will be made available to the contractor. Workstations complete with desks, chairs, computers and wired-desk telephones are available for staff use within the SC Works Centers and does not need to be budgeted in the proposal. Cell phones are not included. Additional printing availability is established within each of the SC Works Centers through a combination of networked copy machines and printers, as appropriate to Center volume. 9. Will the contractor pay rent for the staff who reside in SC Works locations? If so, what it the current rental rate? The WIOA Title I program will pay a fair share of operational costs (rent, utilities, maintenance, etc.) for occupancy in the SC Works Center. However, an estimation of the costs has been setaside at the local administrative level to pay the cost for the WIOA Youth providers operating within the SC Works Centers. 10. Is there a transitional budget allowed for the contractor when they are awarded? At this point, the Midlands plans to issue contracts with an effective date of July 1, 2015. As stated in the RFP, WIOA Regulations have not yet been released although we understand that Youth guidance is expected in the coming weeks. In the FAQs issued by USDOL on February 27, 2015, there is language that indicates the Youth guidance is forthcoming and will address some WIOA Youth Services RFP Questions and Answers Bidders Conference Youth program transition. We will communicate via www.midlandsworkforce.org with additional guidance regarding any transitional latitude resulting from USDOL guidance within the period the RFP is out for bid. 11. What is the current number of employees who perform this work? Where are they currently located? Please identify those positions in management, support, case managers, etc.? What is their current rate of pay or pay range expected? Is there a level of benefits required? There are two eligibility determination staff members shared across the 3 SC Works office and 3 programs. There are currently eight staff members in Youth case management positions. All but one of those staff members are working out of the SC Works Centers (Columbia, Lexington and Winnsboro). Those positions are all case manager positions. The program supervisor is currently a shared role with the Adult and Dislocated Worker supervisor. The average salary is $33,000. There is not a benefit level required for the staff in this grant. It is expected that the contractor would extend similar benefits to the grant staff as similarly situated existing employees with the contractor’s organization. 12. What is the current youth enrollment? What is the expected youth enrollment? As of 3/12/15, there are 525 Youth enrolled in WIA in the Midlands area. Active enrollments change on a daily basis as a result of on-going enrollments and daily exits from the program. The history of the Midlands area has ranged from 470 – 1014 WIA Youth participants in the Midlands area in the last several years. The implementation of WIOA changes eligibility, program elements, and priority areas. We anticipate the number of participants to potentially vary depending on program design. In addition, there will be a number of participants who will be transitioning from WIA to WIOA to complete his/her employment plan. We expect those participants to cost less than newly enrolled participants into WIOA. At a minimum, we expect 480 participants to served in Program Year 2015. 13. On the budget worksheet, there is a matching section. Is there a cash match or in-kind match required? If so, how much? Match funds are possible but not required for this grant application. We are interested in any leveraged resources to support the overall mission of the Youth strategies. 14. Will the budget worksheet be made available in Excel or are the responders expected to create this form? The budget forms (in Excel) will be made available via the Board’s website (www.midlandsworkforce.org) in the afternoon of March 16 2015 following the Bidder’s conference. 15. Will top bidders be expected to give a presentation? If so, when is this planned? Bidders may or may not be asked to make a presentation to evaluation committee. No presentation meeting is currently planned. Requested presentation will be announced following the meeting of the evaluation committee. The presentation would occur prior to any recommendation being forwarded to Midlands Workforce Development Board. 16. On Page 8, Section C indicates that orientation must be completed in accordance with the Midlands Workforce Development Board’s procedure. Could a copy of this procedure be provided? WIOA Youth Services RFP Questions and Answers Bidders Conference Currently the MWDB’s WIA Orientation is found on-line at www.midlandsworks.org so that it is available 24 hours per day to be accessed at the customer’s convenience and speed enrollment and focus staff time on service delivery. In addition, the orientation can be delivered face-toface with staff in a one-on-one or mass group, when needed or requested. Accommodations for disabilities or language interpretation is also available. With the limited guidance on WIOA implementation, the MWDB acknowledges changes will need to be made for WIOA implementation. It may be as simple as updating the information contained in the on-line orientation or it may be more complicated. We will work closely with the contractor for WIOA orientation. The same delivery options will be expected of WIOA Orientation. 17. Page 10, Section E requires a full time presence in the SC Works Center in each of the three counties. Are there currently any staff located in satellite offices? If so, could you provide the name and address of these locations? Case management staff is present full-time in each of the three current SC Works Centers. The comprehensive center is located at 700 Taylor Street Columbia (SC Works Midlands). The two satellite offices are located at 671 Main Street West Columbia (SC Works Lexington) and 414 South Congress Street Winnsboro (SC Works Fairfield). There is also a presence at the technical college that rotates between campuses. 18. Page 11, Section G outlines the eligibility criteria for both out of school and in-school youth. Please explain how the Midlands area defines the barrier “requires additional assistance to complete education.” What measurement tool is used to assess this barrier? As USDOL and the State issues guidance on WIOA, we anticipate eligibility criteria to be included. The eligibility criteria included in Section G is from the WIOA law. We expect additional clarification to be forthcoming and will address any measurement tools that will be needed. 19. What is the enrollment goal in the Midlands Workforce Area for the Workforce Investment Act Youth Program in PY 15? Please specify the number of participants being served as out-ofschool youth and in-school youth. As of 3/12/15, there are 525 Youth enrolled in WIA in the Midlands area. Active enrollments change on a daily basis as a result of on-going enrollments and daily exits from the program. The history of the Midlands area has ranged from 470 – 1014 WIA Youth participants in the Midlands area in the last several years. The implementation of WIOA changes eligibility, program elements, and priority areas. We anticipate the number of participants to potentially vary depending on program design. In addition, there will be a number of participants who will be transitioning from WIA to WIOA to complete his/her employment plan. We expect those participants to cost less than newly enrolled participants into WIOA. At a minimum, we expect 480 participants to served in Program Year 2015. There are currently 104 in-school youth participants enrolled. We expect 20-25 of them to exit before July 1. Based on the preliminary projections and the guidance received from USDOL regarding transitioning Youth, we anticipate any new enrollments during Program Year 2015 will be Out-of-School Youth. We will transition the currently enrolled in-school youth through his/her Employment Plan and out of WIOA in Program Year 2015. We do not expect to enroll in-school youth during Program Year 2015. WIOA Youth Services RFP Questions and Answers Bidders Conference 20. Does the Midlands Workforce Development Board currently use a minimum TABE assessment grade level as a benchmark to enter the WIA youth program? If so, what is the minimum score requirement in both reading and math? The Midlands area does use TABE assessments for both eligibility (basic skills deficient) and numeracy/literacy measures (pre and post testing). TABE scores are not used as a benchmark for enrollment. 21. Will proposals for Youth Activities be disqualified for targeting less than the three-county service area? The Midlands will consider proposals targeting less than the three-county service area. However, the funds allocated in this RFP must serve Youth participants in all three counties. If a proposal does not plan to include all three counties in its service area, we would expect the enrollments and budget be balanced accordingly. 22. Is it required that the Youth Services Provider maintain Full-time operation in the SC Works Centers? We anticipate that Youth services be an integral partner in the SC Works Center as a part of the Title I in WIOA. Title I partners will share in the expense of the Centers that the MWDB is responsible for the oversight and budgeting of its operations. Full-time operation is not necessarily mandated but integration into the workforce system is essential. A bidder not intending to operate the Youth program within the Centers should address its proposed location and the benefits and cost of the separation. Full-time presence in the SC Works Center is expected but a contract may also operate elsewhere. 23. Will the MWDB provide directives to address Career Pathways? The MWDB has identified the following clusters are priority training areas: Advanced Manufacturing, Business, Healthcare, Information Technology, and Transportation and Logistics. These clusters have been viewed on an Annual Basis and published in the MWDB’s Workforce Report. We anticipate issuing additional directives regarding Career Pathways as additional information and guidance is issued from USDOL and the State throughout the implementation of WIOA. An additional, unscheduled review is planned April/May of this year. 24. Will MWDB provide eligibility staff or should this be a component of the Agency’s grant proposal? All participant services are being bid in this RFP including certification of eligibility. 25. Can we place the completed proposal response in a binder and tab out the sections requested? The proposals can be bound in any method by the proposer. 26. Will there be an evaluation form provided to include in section 3? The evaluation criteria included on pages 26-27 (section 3) of the solicitation is the evaluation criteria of the breakout of scoring of each proposal submitted and will be used by the evaluation committee. This is not a section to be completed by proposer. It is included in the solicitation as information. 27. Is there a page limit to the narrative section? WIOA Youth Services RFP Questions and Answers Bidders Conference There is not a page limit to the narrative section of the proposal. Bidders are encouraged to present a clear description of the proposal. 28. Are MOUS/Letters of support required? Existing MOUs and/or Letters of support are allowed but are not required for the proposal. The Board is interested in any existing working relationships that will enhance the service delivery but it can be described as an existing partnership and explain how it will benefit the WIOA services within the narrative section. 29. The RFP indicated all pages of the response shall be numbered. Is this only applicable to the narrative section? All pages of the proposal should be numbered to include the forms in the Bidders Response Package and the narrative. 30. If forms such as the title page require a number can a word version be provided so we can change page number to ensure a logical flow? The forms in the Budget Response section (in Word and Excel as appropriate) will be made available via the Board’s website (www.midlandsworkforce.org) in the afternoon of March 16 2015 following the Bidder’s conference. 31. How many youth are projected to be served in program year 2014-2015 by county for InSchool and Out-of-School youth? There is not a county by county service level required. Due to the location of the Center in relation to county lines, enrollments are generally heavier in the Columbia office. The office serves the larger population of Richland County and has a close proximity to Lexington County just across the river. The Lexington Center sees the next largest enrollment concentration with Fairfield County having fewer enrollments. We do not expect to enroll new in-school youth during Program Year 2015. 32. What is the expected number of carryover and exited participants by county for In-School and Out-of School Youth for Program Year 2016-2017? There are currently 525 youth participants enrolled. About 20% of them are in-school youth. We expect 20-25 of the in-school youth and 90-95 of the out-of-school youth to exit before July 1. Based on the preliminary projections and the guidance received from USDOL regarding transitioning Youth, we anticipate any new enrollments during Program Year 2015 will be Outof-School Youth. We will transition the currently enrolled in-school youth through his/her Employment Plan and out of WIOA in Program Year 2015. We do not expect to enroll in-school youth during Program Year 2015. 33. Is classroom space available for training use in each of the SC Works Centers? In the SC Works Midlands office, there are several group meeting spaces with a combination of computer labs and classroom space. The SC Works Lexington office also has both computer labs and classroom spaces. The SC Works Fairfield has a single room that can be used as classroom or computer lab for a small group. These spaces will not be dedicated to the Youth program but are shared for all partners and workshops and training classes for the public. 34. Can you provide us with budget form in excel format? WIOA Youth Services RFP Questions and Answers Bidders Conference The forms in the Budget Response section (in Word and Excel as appropriate) will be made available via the Board’s website (www.midlandsworkforce.org) in the afternoon of March 16 2015 following the Bidder’s conference.
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