MassCEC is seeking proposals through a mini-bid request for highly qualified individuals or organizations to provide professional support to MassCEC's Workforce Development team on the scoping and development of a request for proposals for vendors to develop a multi-purpose data Platform to support the WFD Team’s work with grantees and a range of external stakeholders. The Platform will need to streamline the collection and display of data on businesses, nonprofits, training providers, educational institutions, and individuals participating in workforce development programs. Additionally, the Platform will need to provide learning products to MassCEC grantees and support the scaling of MassCEC’s internship programs by including a more effective internship portal. Following the selection of vendors to develop a suite of systems, the professional support would include, but not be limited to, collaborating with MassCEC on the project management of the Platform development vendors and designing and implementing training and resource materials to ensure MassCEC staff can support end user interactions with the final Platform.
February 2, 2024
Consultant Selection Schedule
All dates are subject to change at MassCEC's discretion.
Release of Mini-Bid
January 3, 2024
Questions due to MassCEC via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
January 12, 2024
Questions with answers emailed to Mini-Bid recipients
January 19, 2024
Pre-application Office Hours
January 16, 2024 at 3 pm ET, via Zoom
February 2, 2024 by 11:59 pm ET
Interview of top applicants
Feburary 9, 2024, between 1 pm and 4 pm ET, via Zoom
Notification of award
February 23, 2024
Q1: Will the same consultant who performs this work be eligible to apply for the future work to build out the platform?
No. The consultant who works on this will be involved in the planning, scoping, and drafting of the RFP to solicit the future work, and therefore would be ineligible to apply.
Q2: What is the contracting process and are there any procurement third parties involved (Carasoft, etc.)?
We are not using any procurement third parties. The contracting process takes place after an award decision has been made and involves our legal and finance teams. The contracting process can take 4-6 weeks.
Q3: Is there a specific contract that we would be required to sign? If so, would redlines be considered?
We have contract language that we offer, but vendors may suggest edits for review by our legal team.
Q4: Are out-of-state vendors eligible to apply?
We will require the vendor to be in person for several meetings. Therefore, we believe it would be easier for in-state vendors or vendors that are located close to Massachusetts to do this work.
Q5: Please elaborate on: “Work with MassCEC and vendors on an integration plan to ensure adequate data flow between the different components."
We would like the consultant to stay on through the vendor selection process to help MassCEC clearly communicate to potential vendors the requirements we are seeking from the data platform.
Q6: Please elaborate on: “Support the launch of the multi-purpose data platform, collaborating with MassCEC and selected vendors."
We would like this consultant to work with MassCEC and the chosen vendor(s) through the build-out of the platform all the way through to its launch and be able to provide training support to MassCEC staff in the use of the platform.
Q7: Is there buy-in for this project internally and externally?
The data platform will be for the workforce development department specifically. At this time there is no plan to expand beyond that within MassCEC. It is important to our internal and external stakeholders that we be able to report on our grantees’ progress, including their training program participants. Our grantees and stakeholders include a wide variety of organizations including, but not limited to, organized labor, businesses, community-based organizations, and training providers. We know that the Commonwealth is also considering updating its own workforce development data systems, and we may eventually need our data platform to be able to securely and easily feed into those systems.
Q8: Who will be working on this effort from the Workforce Development team?
Four senior leadership members of the Workforce Development department will be involved.
Q9: To what extent is the program anticipating custom builds rather than existing programs?
The pitfall we want to avoid is custom builds that only one or two people can use or that become out of date very quickly. We assume there might need to be some customization, but hope it can be using technology that is widely well understood and user friendly from back and front end. We don’t want to have to rely on an outside consultant regularly to use the system. Ideally, the consultant we are looking for through this mini-bid will help us through the build-out process and train staff internally, as well as develop tools to train externally (grantees, etc.).
Q10: Can you clarify your expectations for deliverables? Do you want the format to be a report?
We would like a well-written and articulated RFP to be part of the result. Another deliverable would be helping the workforce development team evaluate the proposals received through the RFP for the platform and helping us understand what we should expect in terms of training staff. We also would like the consultant to do some training of staff and provide reference tools for using the platform. We may also look to have some training provided to external users (i.e. grantees). It is possible that the training will need to be ongoing, or we may use a “train the trainer” model.
Q11: Are you anticipating that training happens in a certain modality? Do you have a preference about how training has trended or worked the best?
We hope there will be a mix of methods – written, live in-person, live virtual, etc. We need a consultant with MA-based staff because we will be in-person in some situations.
Q12: Do you have an existing knowledge base or staff training system
Q13: Do you have existing data collection methods?
We mostly use spreadsheets that are saved in a secure online folder without identifying information.
Q14: Is your main goal to capture the data you are missing?
No. Our goal is to receive data from our grantees in a secure environment that also allows MassCEC’s workforce development staff and the grantees the ability to analyze the data and publish public dashboards from it.
Q15: Do you have a general idea of what questions and data you would be asking people for?
We largely know the questions we want to ask. We are open to learning what additional questions we should be asking. We would like to capture and analyze the information we collect more effectively. We would like the consultant chosen through this mini-bid to help us understand which systems will be most effective for us to use to do this and what they cost.
Q16: Can you clarify which types of vendors and types of systems you think you’ll need?
It would depend. We have assumed that the solution might require multiple software solutions/vendors, or it might not. In the RFP, we will likely be open to a single system or multiple system solution, as long as we receive bids for solutions that meet our needs. In the case of a multiple system solution, we will want to be sure that the systems can work easily together as well as integrate easily with external systems
Q17: When you receive this build do you plan to do the system administration yourself or do you want a turnkey service?
We are assuming there will be ongoing maintenance costs that could involve licensing and service.
Q18: Is there an IT department on your side that will be involved in the RFP?
MassCEC has some IT services, but they will only be involved in making sure the data platform can be accessed by our hardware and system. They will not be involved in developing the RFP. To clarify, the consultant that this mini-bid is seeking, who helps us design the RFP, will not be able to also bid on building the platform (as they would have an unfair advantage).
Rolling, through 11:59 pm on March 1, 2024