Workforce Southwest Washington REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) for Youth Program Focus Groups and Brand Development


Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW), a Washington State 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation, is responsible for the administration and finances of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs operating within Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties in Washington State.

WSW contributes to regional economic growth by providing investments and resources to improve the skills and education of the workforce. WSW’s goals are to help businesses find and hire the employees they need and provide people the skills, education and training to find work or advance in their careers. Our partners include employers, community colleges and universities, labor groups, government and economic development agencies, high schools, nonprofits and community-based organizations.

WSW provides oversight of the region's public workforce development system to ensure the highest quality employment and training services for businesses and job seekers.

In addition to serving adults, WSW funds programs to assist 16-24 year olds who are not in school and not employed and face barriers such as growing up in poverty or exiting the foster care system. Most services for our youth workforce programs are provided by four organizations (Partners in Careers, Educational Service District 112, Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region and Wahkiakum School District). Programs focus on high school diploma or GED attainment, career exploration, work-readiness training and job search assistance.

In mid-2018, WSW will bring the organizations that provide its youth services into one location to

create a service hub (youth space) for young people and their families to receive integrated support and services. In this location, the service providers will operate under a common name and brand. Development of the name and brand are part of this Request for Proposals.

WSW is seeking proposals from qualified organizations to: (1) perform stakeholder research (i.e., focus groups) with youth, service providers and community partners about their vision for the shared youth space, including what the physical location should include, how services might be provided, etc. to understand concerns, challenges and opportunities, and (2) brand the youth center, including naming the center, developing a logo, writing and designing collateral, videos and other materials.

Proposals Due Date: Monday, July 17 at 4 p.m. (Pacific Time)

Email proposals/questions to: Julia Maglione at


Project Components

We intend to fund two separate but interconnected projects. Depending on capabilities, agencies may submit proposals for one or both project.

1. Stakeholder Research and Analysis: Conduct focus groups with youth, service providers and community partners in Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum counties to gain insight into their vision for the shared space, possible names for the location, what the physical location should include, how services might be provided, etc. to understand concerns, challenges and opportunities.

Describe your recommended approach for target audience research. Include a timeline for implementation, key milestones, a description of the final work product and how it will be packaged to inform the Brand Plan and its implementation. Provide two samples of previous work like this project component.

2. Brand Development: Use components of findings from stakeholder focus groups to develop a brand strategy and plan to brand the youth center, including options and recommendations for program/center name. Develop a logo, color palette and style guide. Write boilerplate description, create tagline and other messaging as determined. Design collateral, including business cards, letterhead, brochures, flyers and other materials (i.e., may include videos, photography, etc.).

Describe your approach for identification and development of the brand. Include a sample plan with recommendations and timeline. Describe how brand will be informed by the focus group research and analysis project component. Provide two samples of previous work similar to the project components and at least five logo samples.

3. Budget: Project estimate is $40,000 total for both components. Stakeholder research component should not exceed $20,000. The proposal should show a separate total for each item.

If applying for both projects, provide a project budget for each project component being proposed (please limit the budget to one page for each). Include justification of all necessary costs, including hours of effort, rates and project elements. Propose a reimbursement schedule based on completion of work elements with final payment upon completion of the project.


The overall budget for this project shall not exceed $40,000. Proposer may include optional items in their proposal that go beyond the $40,000 and could be provided in subsequent years, if funding is available. Respondents should focus on presenting the best strategy and tactics to achieve project goals. If additional funding becomes available, any contract awarded may be renegotiated to provide for additional related services. Any contract(s) awarded are contingent upon the availability of funding.


The term of the contract will commence upon signature of agreed upon contract terms, scope of work and deliverables and will continue through final development of materials.

Expected Length of Contract: This project is anticipated to begin in August 2017 and end by March 31, 2018. Project Component

Estimated Timeline

Focus Groups

August 2017 – October 31, 2017

Brand Development

September 2017 – March 31, 2018


All proposals in response to this request must be received via email by WSW by 4 p.m. Pacific Time on July 17, 2017. Proposals received after this time will not be accepted.

Submissions should be emailed to with "Youth Program RFP" in the subject line and read receipt requested.

Final contracts through this request will be awarded by Workforce Southwest Washington and are dependent on funding availability. Funding amounts are subject to change due to funds availability or through the contract negotiation process.


The following information should be included in the bid submittal:

1. Samples of Work

Proposal must include at least two samples of work related to each of the project components. In addition, for the brand component, include samples of at least five logos you have designed, including for nonprofits, public-sector and/or targeted to young adults.

2. References

Proposal must include three references for which similar services have been provided. Please include company/organization name, contact person name, telephone number and email address. References should match up with the project components being included in the proposal.

Selected quotes may be invited to present their proposal. No costs for these presentations will be covered.


Eligible applicants include organizations with demonstrated experience performing similar work to that described in this solicitation. A group of two or more eligible applicants may submit a combined proposal. If this type of proposal is selected, WSW will contract with one lead organization. The proposal should make clear which organization is taking this lead responsibility.


1. All solicitations are contingent upon availability of funds.

2. WSW reserves the right to accept or reject any or all quotes received.

3. WSW reserves the right to waive informalities and minor irregularities in offers received.

4. This RFP does not commit WSW to award a contract.

5. WSW may select a proposal based on initial offers received, without discussion of such offers. Accordingly, each offer should be submitted on the most favorable terms from a price and technical standpoint that the bidder can submit to WSW.

6. WSW reserves the right to request additional data or oral discussion or documentation in support of written offers.

7. No costs will be paid to cover the expense of preparing a quote or procuring a contract for services or supplies.

8. All data, material and documentation originated and prepared by the proposer pursuant to the contract shall belong exclusively to WSW and be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

9. Formal notification to award a contract and the actual execution of a contract are subject to the following: receipt of funds anticipated, results of negotiations between selected bidders and WSW staff, and continued availability of funds.

10. The contents of the proposal are truthful and accurate and the named proposer agrees to comply with the policies stated in this RFP.

11. WSW may decide not to fund part or all of a proposal even though it is in the competitive range if, in the opinion of WSW, the services proposed are not needed, or the costs are higher than WSW finds reasonable in relation to the overall funds available, or if past management concerns lead WSW to believe the proposer has undertaken more services than it can successfully provide.

12. WSW reserves the right to modify or alter the requirements and standards set forth in this RFP based on program requirements mandated by funding agencies.

13. All proposers must ensure equal opportunity to all individuals. No individual shall be excluded because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or political affiliation or belief.

14. All proposers must ensure access to individuals with disabilities pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

15. The contract award will not be final until WSW and the proposer have executed a mutually satisfactory contractual agreement. WSW reserves the right to make an award without further discussion of the proposal submitted. No program activity may begin prior to final WSW approval of the award and execution of a contractual agreement between the successful proposer and WSW.

16. WSW reserves the right to cancel an award immediately if new regulations or policy make it necessary to change the program purpose or content substantially, or to prohibit such a program.

17. WSW reserves the right to accept proposals with minor clerical errors such as misspellings, incorrect page order or similar non-consequential errors.

Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) is an equal-opportunity employer and provider of employment and training services. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to persons with disabilities.