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LVEDC Issues RFP for Alumni Survey

By Colin McEvoy on November 11, 2019

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) has issued a formal request for proposals (RFP). It can be found below, and a DOC version can be downloaded here.

 

Alumni Survey

Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania 

 

INTRODUCTION

Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) is a non-profit organization that markets the economic assets of Lehigh and Northampton counties in eastern Pennsylvania. LVEDC directs strategic collaborative efforts involving various stakeholders in the regional economy to attract and retain talent, promote skills training and career readiness, and align employers and educators to meet the region’s talent supply needs.

LVEDC and the Workforce Board Lehigh Valley (WBLV) commissioned a study in 2015 that examined the pipeline for training providers and workforce supply, cataloged the region’s workforce support service providers, assessed resource efficiency, and recommended implementation strategies and best practices.  That study recommended the establishment of a strong collaborative environment with educators, institutions, and trainers in the Lehigh Valley, and the development of an ongoing process for training workforce supply and demand, using the gap analysis as an aid in developing curriculum, evaluating program effectiveness, and providing ongoing data-driven employer surveys. Through this initiative, the LVEDC Education and Talent Supply Council was formed, aiming to increase the workforce and economic development linkages between education and business. This council created an unprecedented partnership between LVEDC and 11 regional colleges that graduate over 10,000 annually.

Additionally, in the fall of 2018 LVEDC engaged in a study to increase the understanding of the perceptions of the Lehigh Valley among people from outside the region.  The results showed, that people with no connection to the region had either no perceptions or incorrect perceptions about the Lehigh Valley.  It also showed that people who are at least somewhat familiar with the region are also more likely to consider relocating to the Lehigh Valley for a job that met their career and compensation objectives.

LVEDC intends to follow up on the 2018 talent perception study by conducting targeted research with alumni of 11 Lehigh Valley colleges and universities.  The perceptions of an audience that has a connection to the region about its quality of life and career priorities are critical to LVEDC in understanding talent attraction trends, strengths, and challenges.

 

BACKGROUND

For the purposes of this analysis the following colleges and universities have been identified by LVEDC as partners:

  • Cedar Crest College
  • DeSales University
  • East Stroudsburg University
  • Kutztown University
  • Lafayette College
  • Lehigh Carbon Community College
  • Lehigh University
  • Moravian College
  • Muhlenberg College
  • Northampton Community College
  • Pennsylvania State University, Lehigh Valley

 Some or all of these colleges and universities may agree to participate in this alumni survey. Participation is at the sole discretion of each institution.

 

SCOPE OF SERVICES
Conduct a survey, working with LVEDC and participating colleges, tabulate the data collected from the survey, and report the results

1. Prepare the survey form

    • Work with LVEDC staff to establish a questionnaire for the survey.
    • Obtain approval of the questionnaire from alumni offices at participating colleges and universities.
    • Format the survey so that it can be distributed by participating colleges and universities to their alumni lists and returned surveys can be identified based on the institution that sent the survey.

2. Work with participating colleges and universities so their alumni offices can distribute the survey electronically and potentially other methods to alumni.

3. Establish a mechanism to collect results from each participating college and university, ensuring the security of each school’s alumni data. Tabulate results on an aggregated basis across all respondents and produce results from the individual participating colleges and universities that can be reported to each school.

Analyze responses based on relevant cross tabs such as geography, year of graduation, occupation, etc. and present results and findings in a written report to LVEDC.

TIMELINES – MAJOR BENCHMARKS  

  • RFP issued – On or about November 11, 2019
  • Proposals due – Close of business December 13, 2019
  • Questions due – Close of business December 1, 2019 (Answers will be posted publicly on December 6, 2019)
  • Contract award –January 2020
  • Surveys conducted – February-September 2020
  • Monthly reporting of project due by the last day of each month
  • Contract ends – October 2020

 

REPORTING/METRICS

It is expected to deliver periodic updates and progress reports, as required.  The selected vendor, along with LVEDC, will develop a project timeline to include regular reports of progress at agreed upon intervals.

  

GENERAL COMPLIANCE

The Bidder and each subcontractor shall establish and maintain a written sexual harassment policy and shall inform their employees of the policy. The policy must contain a notice that sexual harassment will not be tolerated and employees who practice it will be disciplined.

The Bidder and each subcontractor shall not discriminate by reason of gender, race, creed, or color against any subcontractor or supplier who is qualified to perform the work to which the contract relates.

 

BIDDER QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS

LVEDC seeks experienced firms or organizations to conduct workforce and economic development research as it relates to Growth Strategies – particularly economic positioning, human capital analyses, and educational recommendations. Key staff for the project is required to have individual experience in the appropriate fields. Once an award is made, LVEDC project coordinators must approve any changes to key staff assigned to the project. Knowledge of the Lehigh Valley region is important.

 

COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS/SUBCONTRACTING

Bidders should specify in the proposal, the name and qualifications of any “subcontractor(s)” that are to be used for this project. Subcontractors will be held to the same terms and conditions as the contractor in order to meet the statement of work, method of payment, and deliverables. All subcontractors must provide to the Contractor and LVEDC, if requested, copies of personnel records and documentation of employee’s compliance with the contract.  

 

PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE:  

Any contract awarded as a result of this procurement is contingent upon the continued availability of funds. The period of performance for any contract resulting from this RFP may be subject to change. Amendments extending the period of performance, if any, shall be at the sole discretion of the LVEDC. 

 

 

GENERAL INFORMATION FOR BIDDERS  

Bidders should rely on the detailed information in the RFP, which is also available in DOC format here.

  

Point of Contact (POC):

The POC for all components of this project is:

Name: Karianne Gelinas

Organization:  Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation

Address:  2158 Avenue C, Suite 200, Bethlehem, PA 18017

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 610.266.2236

 

Any other communication will be considered unofficial and non-binding. Vendors should rely on written statements, including e-mail response and the Q & A issued by the POC. Any communication directed to parties other than the POC is not binding.  

 

 

ISSUANCE OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS  

Written questions should be submitted to the POC during the open proposal period. All written questions must be submitted by email to:  [email protected]. All responses will be issued by email. Emails will be sent individually to each vendor who posed the question and will also be listed under a Q & A section on the website with the RFP.  The LVEDC shall be bound only by written answers.  

 

SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS  

Vendors are required to submit proposals electronically. Proposals must arrive at the LVEDC no later than 5:00 pm (EST) on December 13, 2019.  A total of 5 copies of the printed proposal should be sent to the POC at the address listed above.

The LVEDC assumes no responsibility for delays caused by delivery.  FAX proposal submissions will not be accepted.  

 

REVISIONS TO THE RFP  

In the event it becomes necessary to revise any part of this RFP, the revision will be posted on the website with the RFP and the Q & A at www.lehighvalley.org and will be sent via email to all vendors that submit a question. For this purpose, the published questions and answers document and any other pertinent information shall be provided as an addendum to the RFP. 

 

PROPOSAL FORMAT  

Bidders responding should respond using the format below. Each proposal should include the following sequence:  

  • Letter of Submittal (Cover Letter) – a cover letter, signed, and dated by a person authorized to legally bind the Vendor. Along with introductory remarks, the cover should include the following information about the vendor and any proposed subcontractors: 
  • Name, address, principal place of business, telephone and fax numbers, email address of legal entity or individual with whom contract would be written; 
  • Name, address, and telephone number of each principal officer; 
  • Legal status of the vendor and the year formed; 
  • Federal Employer Tax Identification Number or Social Security Number; and 
  • Location of the facility from which the vendor would operate. 
  • Summary of type and qualifications of responding organization(s), including experiences of individuals involved with the organization(s); 
  • Experience with Similar Projects; 
  • Project Understanding and Approach; 
  • Scope of Work; 
  • Schedule of Work; 
  • Team Participants and Key Personnel; 
  • References; 
  • Organizational Financial Information; 
  • Project timeline; 
  • Project Budget – should include individual fees and other costs associated with proposal. Any cost outside the proposal budget should be clearly stated; 
  • Proposals must be signed by an authorized official of the proposer’s organization agreeing to the general assurances and expressing a willingness to provide the certifications required. A contact person for follow up questions should also be identified; 
  • Identify any LVEDC employees or former LVEDC employees associated with the firm currently, or for the past three (3) years. 

 

RESPONSIVENESS  

All proposals will be reviewed by the POC to determine compliance with administrative requirements and instructions specified in this RFP. Failure to comply with any part of the RFP may result in rejection of the proposal as non-responsive. The LVEDC reserves the right to accept or reject any proposal and to waive bidding irregularities at their sole discretion.  

 

COSTS TO PROPOSE  

The LVEDC will not be liable for any costs incurred by the vendor in preparation of a proposal submitted in response to this RFP, conducting a presentation, or any other activities related to responding to this RFP. 

 

NO OBLIGATION TO CONTRACT  

This solicitation does not obligate the LVEDC to contract for services specified herein.  

 

REJECTION OF PROPOSALS  

The LVEDC reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to reject any and all proposals received without penalty and not to issue a contract as a result of this RFP.  

 

COMMITMENT OF FUNDS  

No cost chargeable to the proposed contract may be incurred before the execution date specified in the contract.  

 

EVALUATION PROCEDURE  

Responsive proposals will be evaluated in accordance with the requirements stated in this solicitation and any addenda issued. The evaluation of proposals will be accomplished by a review team. The review team, at its sole discretion, will select the vendor and make a recommendation to the LVEDC Leadership team for approval. Finalist may be contacted for an interview during the evaluation period. There is no redress process to the team’s decisions.  

 

 

EVALUATION CONSIDERATION

The evaluation team will review all proposals and will score the strength of each proposal based upon the following criteria:

  • Experience of organization with similar projects
    • Include examples of work, clients, and references
  • Project Team Structure, Staff Qualifications
  • Proposed Methodology
    • How the vendor will organize and execute the work
    • As described in project activities and deliverables
  • Overall Responsiveness to the RFP
    • How the proposal meets the RFP requirements, and
    • Not necessarily the vendor with the lowest cost
  • Budget Justification and Cost
    • Cost reasonableness and competitiveness
  • Other Considerations as they may apply

 

ASSURANCES  

By submitting a proposal in response to this RFP, the following assurances are made:  

  1. All answers and statements made in the proposal are true and correct. 
  2. The prices and/or cost data have been determined independently, without consultation, communication, or agreement with others for the purpose of restricting competition. 
  3. It is understood that the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation will not reimburse for any costs incurred in the preparation of this proposal.
  4. All proposals become the property of the solicitor and no proprietary rights to the ideas, writings, items, or samples are claimed, unless so stated in this proposal. 
  5. Unless required by law, the prices and/or cost data that have been submitted have not been knowingly disclosed by the Bidder and will not knowingly be disclosed prior to opening, directly or indirectly, to any other Bidder or to any competitor. 
  6. No attempt has been made or will be made by the Bidder to induce any other person or firm to submit or not to submit a proposal for the purpose of restricting competition. 

 

 

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

 

Q: Are you expecting the method of surveying to include phone surveys?

A: We are not expecting to use phone surveys and are foreseeing exclusively electronic dissemination.  However, this will be discussed with the colleges and universities and exceptions could be made, if needed, according to specific circumstances.

 

Q: Do you expect there to be any exchange of personally identifiable information (PII) among the colleges and universities, lead organization, and consultant?

We do not anticipate any exchange or use of personally identifiable information (PII) throughout this project.

 

Q: What are the audiences for the final written report? LVEDC itself, participating institutions, others?

The audiences are LVEDC, participating institutions, the LVEDC Board of Directors, and our members/stakeholders in our Talent Supply initiative.

 

Q: Does LVEDC have a set of key concepts they’d like to measure about quality of life and career priorities, or examples of instruments that were particularly helpful in developing this RFP (we are not requesting to see those instruments now, but rather to gauge how much survey development discussion/work may already have occurred)?

We have established key concepts that we would like included in the survey as well as work we have previously completed in this area to guide the creation of the content of this survey.

 

Q: Has LVEDC contacted the institutions listed to gauge their interest in participating, and if so, how many have indicated that they would like to participate?

We have established partnerships with all 11 institutions and positive verbal commitments from most of them to participate in this survey.

 

Q: Is the survey instrument intended to be customized to each participating institution’s requests, or will there be a single instrument across all respondents regardless of the institution from which they graduated (or alternately, a set of common questions and then some customized content in each institution’s survey)?

The latter. There will be common questions across all institutions with the option for limited customization of content by each institution. To date, no school has identified customized questions they would like to add to the survey instrument.

 

Q: The RFP mentions that the vendor should “Format the survey so that it can be distributed by participating colleges and universities” and “Establish a mechanism to collect results from each participating college and university.” Is LVEDC open to a centralized administration of the survey where survey distribution and data collection are managed by the vendor, or is it a requirement that each participating institution deploy the instrument themselves?

In conversations with the institutions, none have expressed a willingness to provide alumni contact information to LVEDC or the vendor. Therefore, we expect the survey to be distributed by each institution, with responses returned to the vendor for data collection and analysis.

 

Under “Submission of Proposals” it notes “Vendors are required to submit proposals electronically. Proposals must arrive at the LVEDC no later than 5:00 pm (EST) on December 13, 2019. A total of 5 copies of the printed proposal should be sent to the POC at the address listed above.” Should we submit both electronically and with five print copies by mail?

Yes. Please submit both electronically and with five print copies by mail, both received no later than 5:00 pm (EST) on December 13, 2019.

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