Greater Lowell One-Stop Lead Operator/Service Provider

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1 Greater Lowell One-Stop Lead Operator/Service Provider Letters of Intent (LOI) The Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board is issuing this LOI to gather information on organizations that may be interested in applying through the upcoming Request for Proposals to become the One-Stop Operator/Service Provider for the Greater Lowell region. Responding to this LOI is optional. It is not required that an organization responds to this LOI in order to respond to the RFP. LOI responses received will NOT be considered in any way a part of any formal RFP that the GLWDB may release for One-Stop Operator/Service Provider services. Any RFP released by the GLWDB will be subject to Federal, State and Municipal laws and regulations. The GLWDB reserves the right to modify or cancel the terms of the RFI at any time. Abbreviation and terminology 1. WIOA Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act 2. WIA Federal Workforce Investment Act 3. WIB or WDB Workforce Investment Board or Workforce Development Board 4. OSCC One-Stop Career Center 5. OSO/SP One-Stop Operator/Service Provider 6. GLWDB Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board 7. DESE The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 8. DOL US Department of Labor Purpose Statement The Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board is seeking a One-Stop Career Center Operator for the Greater Lowell Region (which includes Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Lowell, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro, Dunstable and Westford). Through a competitive process, GLWDB will choose a qualified organization to manage One-Stop Career Center service delivery, partnerships, and operations on behalf of the Board. The purpose of this solicitation is to create an environment under which career center staff can align with WIOA principles and key pillars. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires that Local Boards, in agreement with the Chief Elected Official select One-Stop Lead Operators/Service Providers through a competitive process to be conducted not less than 1

2 every four years. WIOA also requires that the Lead Operator/Service Provider selected through the competitive process is in place and operating the Local One-Stop Career Center no later than July 1, By centralizing services and collaborating with partners, the Lead Operator will reduce duplication of services in Greater Lowell. The success of this project will rely in large part on the Operator s ability to balance the needs of job seekers seeking growth, competitive wages, and a supportive professional community with businesses interest in finding dedicated, qualified employees. Organizational Background The Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board ( is one of sixteen Workforce Boards throughout Massachusetts, serving the communities of Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Lowell, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro, Dunstable and Westford. We are charged with overseeing and implementing workforce development initiatives throughout the Workforce Development Area. Board members offer a wide range of skills and experience and include representatives from local businesses, educational institutions, community based organizations, labor unions, governmental agencies, economic development bodies, and Chambers of Commerce. The Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board oversees a wide range of workforce development activities, representing a multitude of federal and state funding streams. These include Youth, Adult and Dislocated Worker programs funded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, The Career Center of Lowell, School to Career Initiatives, DESE Adult Basic Education Activities, The Workforce Training Fund, and other specially and grant funded workforce development activities. By securing and allocating public and private funds for high quality, innovative, and collaborative workforce development programs, the GLWDB promotes a skilled and educated workforce, meets the workforce needs of employers, and supports and sustains economic development, business competitiveness, and job creation in Greater Lowell. Until July 2014, GLWDB funding was provided primarily through WIA, along with other state and federal grants. In 2014, Congress replaced WIA with WIOA. WIOA requires all WIBs across the country to procure an OSO/SP for the OSCC through a competitive process. This LOI is the GLWDB s first step in this process, providing the GLWDB with an opportunity to understand the level of interest on the part of appropriate organizations to respond to a formal RFP that will be released over the next several months. As stated in WIOA, the OSO/SP may be a single entity or a consortium of entities which include a minimum of three of the mandated WIOA partners, including WIOA Title I, Wagner 2

3 Peyser/Employment Service, Adult Education and Literacy, Vocational Rehabilitation, Senior Community Service Employment Programs, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Timeline GLWDB will accept Letters of Intent (LOI) from interested applicants. The deadline for LOI submission is August 3, 2016 by 4:00 PM. The complete Request for Proposals will be issued late summer/early fall. The One-Stop Career Center Operator s contract will begin on July 1, The core outcomes described in this LOI are intended to be achieved and measured over a three-year project period. Scope of Project The One-Stop Career Center Operator will be expected to: o Coordinate service delivery among partners o Coordinate service delivery among physical and electronic sites o Coordinate services across local area system o Act as the primary provider of services at physical centers. Responsibilities include but are not limited to: Manage hours of operation at all sites Manage technological resources such as websites, case management information, business networking software, on-line testing sites and other invoice remittance Manage partner responsibilities as defined in MOU Manage services for individuals Manage services for business Provide basic services such as orientations, information on careers and labor markets, and resource rooms Submit annual staffing and operational budgets Prepare Fiscal Year Local Annual Plan Follow federal and state regulations pertaining to handling of EEO responsibilities, customer complaints, and physical and programmatic accessibility Follow MA Workforce Development Information and Policy Issuances Implement GLWDB directives in accordance with Federal, State and City of Lowell regulations and in alignment with the GLWDB Strategic Plan Report to GLWDB on operations, performance accountability, and continuous improvements 3

4 Budget estimates for the OSCC operations will be made available in the RFP. Current OSCC budget, including all Federal and State resources for personnel, non-personnel, and training is approximately $3.4M. (Please note that local allocations vary from year to year based on DOL formula and state budgets.) Information on current and historic performance for the GLWDB as well as that of all other Massachusetts WIBs and Career Centers can be found at: Core Objectives The objectives of the One-Stop Career Center Operator are to: o Maximize access for jobseekers and business. Applicants should: o Demonstrate ability to provide comprehensive services through multiple access points o Demonstrate success in meeting priority of service mandates for designated target groups o Demonstrate success in identifying barriers for targeted populations and implementing workable, measurable solutions o Demonstrate success and/or workable process for partner service referrals o Provide solutions and strategies that demonstrate both knowledge of requirements and compliance o Provide strategies and solutions that show understanding and utilization of available technology solutions that will meet needs of universal and targeted populations o Maintain cost effectiveness. Operators will: o Demonstrate effective budget management within available and leveraged resources o Clearly describe how existing financial resources (grants) are aligned with targeted industries or occupations in the area o Develop specific strategies to increase or leverage resources to be cost effective o Provide integrated services. Operators will: o Demonstrate success in implementing an integrated multi-partner structure o Demonstrate effective, working state/local partnership model with defined, measureable outcomes o Demonstrate multi-partner involvement in establishing and implementing policies o Support a unified service delivery infrastructure to better serve business and jobseekers o Demonstrate operational success in managing resources that minimize duplication 4

5 o Demonstrate effective management and leadership. Operators will: o Produce a local vision that reflects the Workforce Development Board s Regional Plan (including but not limited to training, goals, practices, staff development, etc.) o Provide evidence that the organization understands WIOA and related regulations o Create a comprehensive staff development plan o Develop a program and outcome management plan including incorporation of MIS, DCS and partner systems o Implement plans for organizational planning, marketing, and continuous improvement o Track federal and local workforce development performance. Through this project, One- Stop Career Centers will: o Build capacity to track, address and meet performance requirements (over three years o Understand functioning and uses of MOSES o Understand and implement Federal performance measures o Understand additional state and local performance measures o Create a plan that meets Federal business standard (served, repeat, % of area employers) o Offer demand-driven resources to the Greater Lowell area. Career Center Operators will: o Demonstrate an understanding of the local labor market, available LMI data, and tools o Develop planned solutions to demonstrated business need o Use customer and employer feedback to drive the model o Make decisions/strategies based on data and successful practices Priority Populations WIOA requires states to connect supports and services for priority populations that lead to long-term employment and outcomes for individuals seeking services, especially those with significant challenges to employment, including: o Unemployed insurance claimants o Youth and adults with disabilities o Veterans o Low-income residents as well as TANF, SNAP, and homeless individuals o Returning citizens o Older workers o Out of school youth 5

6 The Career Center will also work closely with local businesses, particularly those in the manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality and technology industries. Additionally, the Career Center will collaborate with partners including community-based service agencies, community colleges, local and state government, and unions. LOI Guidelines and Requirements The applicant s initial Letter of Intent should consist of 1-2 pages of their project summary and specific activities designed to meet the project s core objectives. The LOI should address: 1. What type of organization is applying (public, private, nonprofit or consortium)? 2. Where are you located? 3. What is your capacity to serve workforce system customers (businesses and jobseekers)? 4. In one paragraph, summarize your experience with the Massachusetts workforce development system. Organization Qualifications Who may be a One-Stop Career Center Operator? o A public, private, or non-profit entity or o A consortium of entities that must include at least three (3) or more required partners It CAN be: o An institution of higher education o A community-based, nonprofit, or intermediary organization o A private for profit entity o A government agency o Interested organizations such as a local Chamber of Commerce, business or labor organization It CANNOT be: o An elementary or secondary school, except non-traditional public secondary schools and area career and technical education schools o Staff of the local workforce development board Contact Information Letters of Intent should be submitted ( preferred) to: by 4:00 pm on August 3, Gail Brown Director, Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board 107 Merrimack Street Lowell, MA

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