Request for Proposals
Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
Background: The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC), on behalf of its affiliate the Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies Group (SeVEDS), is seeking proposals from qualified professionals that are knowledgeable in research and development, planning and data analysis to create a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the Windham Region of Vermont. The Windham Region is defined as the 23 towns in Windham County plus Winhall, Weston, Searsburg and Readsboro.
About BDCC and SeVEDS: BDCC is a private, nonprofit economic development organization that serves as a catalyst for industrial and commercial growth throughout Southeastern Vermont, including Windham County and the towns of Readsboro, Searsburg, and Weston. The primary objective of the BDCC is to create and retain a flourishing business community in the Windham Region that supports vibrant fiscal activity, and improves the quality of life of all its residents.
BDCC is affiliated with the State of Vermont as the certified Regional Development Corporation (RDC) serving the greater Windham County area. BDCC is one of 12 RDCs throughout Vermont. SeVEDS is an affiliate of BDCC that grew from a 2008 grass roots effort, initiated by BDCC, to reverse the economic decline of the Windham Region.
Purpose: SEVEDS recognizes that the work undertaken in this region over the last several years has built a proper foundation for a successful CEDS process. It is expected that a CEDS will help the region to further identify its strengths and weaknesses and establish clear priorities for guiding the work of state agencies, municipalities, non-profit organizations and local business as we work in partnership to foster economic development in the region. The CEDS process for southeastern Vermont will naturally benefit from established social networks around SEVEDS and from the strong history of public engagement initiated by SEVEDS in building a regional economic development brand.
SEVEDS recognizes a CEDS as a plan and a process, and also expects that research and writing of this CEDS should be done with an eye towards implementation. Our intent is to secure specific commitments from stakeholders in adopting strategies which can be executed to achieve our stated goals.
- End Population Decline 2009 = 42,605 est.
- 669 new jobs @$ 43,833 and 446 new jobs @$39,848 (NNE Average Wage)
- Improvement of 4,464 jobs by $5,000/yr.
- $69M new wages $141M in new GDP
- Reach Regional GDP of $2.8B
- Increase Median Annual Income for Associates/Some College from $26,855 to $32,000
- Increase Median Annual Income for Bachelor’s Degree from $32,518 to $39,000
- Improve the Ratio of Net Earned Income to Total Income from .566 to .65To End Population decline
Scope of Work: The CEDS effort must include, but is not limited to: coordination with SEVEDS board, committees and outside community groups designed to gather public input and deliver presentations, analyze data and prepare a CEDS document that satisfies the requirements of the Economic Development Administration (EDA). This document must address the following list of critical components.
- Regional Profile: This section will include all current data relevant to the economic, demographic, geographic, workforce, transportation and environmental metrics of the region. The Regional Profile section will also review and provide a clear analysis of the region’s economic clusters paying close attention to the factors that support their successful operation. Finally, the regional profile should include an in-depth analysis of the economic development problems and opportunities facing the region. This analysis should include recommendations for addressing the problems and strategies for capitalizing on the opportunities.
- Visioning, Goals and Objectives: The second section of the CEDS should document SEVEDS clearly defined vision and a set of regional goals and objectives for economic development. This section should document the process by which the vision, goals and objectives have arisen from an extensive process of public outreach to stakeholders throughout the region. This should involve public meetings in several of the region’s towns, collaboration with business leaders, public officials and private individuals, this process should gather the wide range of ideas regarding the future development of our region. Along with the overall vision, these ideas will be pared down to a set of cohesive, concrete steps to achieve our goals and address the region’s economic challenges and capitalize on its opportunities.
- A Plan of Action: This component of the CEDS will be an action plan for achieving the Goals and Objectives. These strategies should consist of specific projects and programs that will be carried out by one or more stakeholders in the region. The CEDS will identify the nature and intended goal of the project, an estimated cost of the project, a lead agency and potential partners to implement the project, a projected timeline, potential funding sources, the desired outcome of the effort and, where applicable, an estimate of the number of jobs to be created or retained by the project. This section of the CEDS should also identify and prioritize critical capital development and infrastructure projects proposed by municipal, state, or federal government for the region.
- Evaluation and Measurement: The final section will evaluate the process of administering the CEDS as well as distinguishing a performance measurement system to measure the strategy’s current and future success. This section will utilize a measurement system, based on outcome, output and efficiency measures, to maintain a high level of transparency and hold all parties accountable towards implementation. This section will also allow the region to benchmark itself among other regions according to specific outcome measurements identified.
- RFP issue date: August 31, 2012
- Deadline for proposals: October 1, 2012
- Review by SeVEDS: October 18, 2012
- Consultant Interviews: through November 1, 2012
- Consultant Selection: November 15, 2012
- Start Date for consultant: November 29, 2012
- End Date: June 29, 2013
Submittal Requirements: Responses to this RFP should include a detailed work plan that addresses the overall timeline and milestones necessary to complete the CEDS, identify specific activities that will be accomplished, identify staffing and number of hours that will be devoted to each activity and describe the work product that will be produced. It should also include a process for communicating with BDCC staff and the SeVEDS board, a public involvement plan, and a timeline for status reports, draft reports and hard copy and electronic delivery of final CEDS document.
Selection Criteria: Responses to this proposal will be evaluated on the following criteria: Qualification and experience of prime consultant and any sub consultants with studies of similar scope and size; demonstrated knowledge of economic development principals and trends; sufficient staff for all required work; history of successful performance on similar projects, proposed cost of the study; and lastly, demonstration of commitment for meeting the project schedule. An invitation to enter into contract negotiations shall be forwarded to the firm or individuals determined to be qualified and best able to perform the described task.
Responses: Please submit a sealed written proposal to the mailing address below and also submit an electronic submission to email address. Materials and documents submitted in response to this RFP become the property of SeVEDS and will not be returned to the bidder. Responses must be received by mail and in electronic format or delivered in person to:
Laura Sibilia, BDCC, 76 Cotton Mill Hill, Brattleboro, VT 05301
Inquiries may be directed to Laura Sibilia at (802) 257-7731 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org