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REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS AND PROPOSALS

Issued By

Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce

For

 Defense Industry Adjustment Program

 

A.  INTRODUCTION

 

The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce (Quad Cities Chamber) is seeking statements of qualifications and proposals from CONSULTANTS to assist the Quad Cities region in implementing specific activities unique to its defense industry ecosystem.  

The Quad Cities Chamber reserves the right to reject any and all proposals and to negotiate changes with any proposer.  The Quad Cities Chamber is not liable for any cost incurred by any proposer prior to the execution of a written contract.  Nor shall the Quad Cities Chamber be liable for any costs incurred by the selected CONSULTANT that are not specified in a written and signed contract.

The Quad Cities Chamber is an equal employment opportunity employer and provider of services.

B.  OVERVIEW

The Defense Industry Adjustment Program received funding through the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA).  The University of Illinois (U of I) is the primary grant operator and fiscal agent for the entire grant. U of I personnel will provide overall project oversight and direction for statewide activities listed below, while also facilitating leadership, economic research consultation, and other administrative duties.  The Quad Cities Chamber is the grant operator and fiscal agent responsible for the sub-award listed below, while also working with U of I personnel on project coordination, reporting, and oversight.

The overall project will be comprised of two key parts:

1.      Statewide activities:

-       Creation of a Statewide DIA Steering Committee charged with identifying the needs of Illinois’ defense sector and the impact of DoD spending.

-       Region-specific outreach and planning to convene key players and gather information about regional priorities related to the defense industry and local efforts already underway. This will also include direct adjustment activities in those communities, to be determined via the statewide strategic planning that will take place.

-       Statewide assessment of the defense-related economic base, which will draw on the region-specific workshops described above to aggregate an asset map of available resources, assistance, and programs, while including other available statewide resources that support all regions.

-       Development of a statewide supply chain map to aggregate available data and mapping, and identify additional (missing data) on companies within DoD’s supply chains, as well as their capabilities.

-       Creation of an online portal, website, or other communication tool to disseminate valuable and defense-relevant data across the targeted defense-heavy regions and the state more broadly.

2.      Quad Cities activities:

 

Regional activities specific to the Quad Cities region, which will be performed by the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce and its contractors. The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce will receive a sub-award and will periodically report milestones and achievement of goals and benchmarks to U of I.  Funds will support or accelerate the region’s grassroots efforts, which ensure local buy-in, facilitate local ownership, and leverages local expertise and knowledge about the communities’ unique needs.

The Quad Cities region has developed a strong understanding of their local defense sector over the past few years (through previous local planning).  The following efforts are necessary to identify other opportunities that will benefit their defense industry and workforce and to provide direct assistance to the region’s industry.  These Sub-award activities include:

a.       Defense asset mapping

b.      Assessment of the Quad Cities defense-related economic base

c.       Creation of a “Defense and Manufacturing Innovation Ecosystem Partnership”

d.      Delivery of direct support through the Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub (Hub)

e.       Quad Cities communications strategy

f.       Supply chain map

C.  CLIENTS' BACKGROUND

 

The Quad Cities is a bi-state region with a 530,000 laborshed located in eastern Iowa and western Illinois along the Mississippi River.  The region includes the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which includes the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), Muscatine Micropolitan Statistical Area (mSA), and Clinton Micropolitan Statistical Area.  The two largest counties within the CSA are Scott County, IA, and Rock Island County, IL, with 165,224 residing in Scott County, Iowa and 147,546 residing in Rock Island County, IL.

Within this region the Quad Cities Chamber works to strengthen and enhance the business environment, represent the interests of its members and foster balanced growth.  The Chamber advances the Quad Cities community by focusing resources on economic, community, and workforce development.

The proposed project area will focus on the Quad Cities region described here and also include the surrounding counties of Jackson and Cedar in Iowa; and Knox and Whiteside in Illinois.  Selected activities of this grant may extend beyond this area.

Executive and policy direction will be provided by a three-person working group headed by Paul Rumler, Chief Economic Development Officer for the Quad Cities Chamber; and also include Curt Burnett, Executive Director of the Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub; and Bill Ratzburg, Director of Economic & Community Development for Deere & Company.  Both Curt Burnett and Bill Ratzburg are loaned Deere & Company executives who have been loaned to the Quad Cities Chamber to provide support to the Hub and the Defense Industry Adjustment Plan. 

Specific to this proposal, Vicky Miller will be the Project Director responsible for the full time direction and executive management of the Quad Cities activities, including working with the Consultant and the Quad Cities Chamber staff.  The Project Director will be responsible for project evaluation and reporting to the OEA, U of I, and Quad Cities Chamber.

 

D. CONTENT OF PROPOSALS

 

Responding parties must include the elements described below within a single, bound or stapled document of no more than 25 pages.  Six (6) copies of the proposal shall be delivered to the indicated address.

         Required Components: 

                         I.      Transmittal Letter

Provide a brief letter of transmittal stating the proposing firm’s background and interest in the project.  The letter must include a DUNS number and contact information for the company’s chief executive and its proposed project manager. 

                      II.      Statement of Qualifications

This narrative must detail how the CONSULTANT and any subcontracted parties are exceptionally qualified to provide the services requested herein.  At a minimum the section must contain:

·         Company profile,

·         Vitae of the project manager and key team members,

·         Description of similar projects completed by the CONSULTANT,

·         Three client references from similar projects successfully completed in the last five years,

·         Name and location of subcontracting firms (if any) that will be used by the CONSULTANT, and the approximate percentage and type of work that would be performed by each subcontracted firm,

·         Ability to integrate this project into the CONSULTANT’S present workload.

                   III.      Project Approach

The proposal shall include a description of the CONSULTANT’S proposed means of completing each of the following tasks.  A detailed scope of services will be negotiated at the time of contract development with the selected consultant.  Proposing CONSULTANTS should clearly state how they would successfully accomplish each task below within budget.

Task 1: Asset mapping for the Quad Cities

Working with the Quad Cities Chamber, the CONSULTANT will undertake a defense asset mapping effort for the Quad Cities region to complement efforts led the by U of I. The Defense Asset Mapping of regional assets will begin with the Rock Island Arsenal (RIA), Prime Contractors serving RIA, and other defense activities, and sub-contractors to these primes. In order to support the economic resiliency of defense contractors, the asset map will include non-defense manufacturing assets such as the 900 manufacturers within the 80-mile radius of the Quad Cities region, and the 350 manufacturers focused on metals and multi-materials.  The asset mapping effort will also include workforce training and support assets at universities, colleges and community colleges. These defense assets will be communicated to the U of I and shared with state leaders and included in any online platform built by U of I for state leaders and local Quad Cities leaders to assess and forecast the impacts of changes in the defense sector. The output of the effort will be a Regional Defense & Manufacturing Asset Map, including Technology Assessment that includes manufacturers and regional services supporting manufacturing / advanced manufacturing, existing defense contractors and regional resources supporting them, and a Technology Assessment focusing on reviewing Patents and other Intellectual Property.

Year 1

Task 2: Assessment of the QC Defense-Related Economic Base

Working with the Quad Cities Chamber, the CONSULTANT will conduct an assessment of the existing defense-related economic base to identify the scope and nature of all DOD-related economic activity in the Quad Cities region relating to contract awards.

The assessment and identification will include both the personnel and business products funded through these contacts and will be identified using Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, and/or Federal Product or Service Codes (PSC). The assessment will also quantify the vulnerability of DOD-related activities identified to future changes in DOD spending, from program reductions, reconfigurations, or expansions. The assessment will further measure the direct, indirect, and induced impacts for such changes in DOD expenditures to contractors in the Quad Cities region.

The defense and manufacturing assets identified in the mapping effort will be surveyed to measure the direct, indirect, and induced impacts for such changes in DOD expenditures to contractors in the Quad Cities region.

The output of the assessment effort will provide a roadmap for regional economic development leadership, state leaders, and the Quad Cities regional defense and manufacturing firms seeking to understand their future economic prospects and to identify adjustment opportunities. 

                        Year 1

Task 3: Create a Defense and Manufacturing Innovation Ecosystem Partnership

Working with the Quad Cities Chamber’s Manufacturing Innovation Hub (Hub), the CONSULTANT will help develop a coalition of regional manufacturing stakeholders, service providers and businesses, including area defense contractors and subcontractors, forming a Defense and Manufacturing Innovation Ecosystem Partnership (Partnership), which will be tied into the regional activities being coordinated by U of I.  The Hub, with expertise in supporting advanced manufacturers, defense manufacturers and allied capabilities such a logistics, prototyping, and manufacturing cybersecurity, will coordinate the projects being implemented in the area of the defense industrial base.  These programs could provide a useful model for support of at-risk manufacturing defense operations around the country.  The Hub will develop a defense economic adjustment action plan to assist defense manufacturers strengthen and diversify their market positions through services supporting advanced manufacturing.

The Hub’s action plan will support the Quad Cities region’s defense contractor and sub-contractor base to modernize their production processes where possible and diversify their customer base to include non-defense customers, to include exploring international business opportunities.  The Partnership, led by the Hub and its partners, will assist in the deployment of near commercially ready products to the U.S. and international markets, and support expansion of the region’s existing advanced manufacturing through (1) alignment of training resources for defense sector employees that will substantially improve their marketability and relevance for current and future employment in the advanced manufacturing space, and (2) Identification of potential suppliers in the defense supply chain.

The action plan will provide a blueprint for other communities across the state. Yr.1&2

Project Schedule & Cost

The proposal shall reference any recommended revisions to the budget and project schedule.  Once a CONSULTANT has been selected, the CLIENT will negotiate a final scope of services, schedule and cost.

                   IV.      Confidentiality

The CONSULTANT will be required to sign a confidentiality statement in agreement that all information shared with any of its resources (staff, volunteers, consultants and or sub-contractors) will be held in the strictest of confidence.  No information on any of the businesses in this region gathered by the CONSULTANT from this contract will be used to the commercial advantage of any staff member consultant, sub-contractor, or other resource to the benefit of any third party.

E.  DEADLINES

 

¨      Submittal Deadline:             March 24, 2016

¨      Submittal Location:             Quad Cities Chamber

                                                            1601 River Drive, Suite 310

                                                            Moline, IL 61265

                                                           

¨      Question Deadline:                    March 17, 2016

Question Contact:                Questions must be submitted in writing or email to:

Vicky Miller

Quad Cities Chamber

                                                            1601 River Drive, Suite 310

                                                            Moline, IL 61265

                                                   vmiller@quadcitieschamber.com

Question Responses:            Posted on www.quadcitieschamber.com

                                                  

Submittal Copies:                 Six (6) copies are required

                                                  

F.  EVALUATION CRITERIA

 

A review of qualifying proposals will identify potential CONSULTANTS that most closely meet the needs of the Quad Cities Chamber.  Upon review of the proposals, the three highest ranked proposers may be contacted to make a presentation to the Quad Cities Chamber to discuss their qualifications and approach to completing the project.

The Quad Cities Chamber will evaluate all proposals.  Factors to be considered by the Quad Cities Chamber will include but may not be limited to the following:

·         Qualifications, reputation and experience of the proposing firm as whole,

·         Qualifications and experience of the project manager,

·         Qualifications and experience of the project team,

·         Project team’s knowledge of the defense industry, manufacturing, innovation, and economic development planning,

·         Project team’s overall ability to complete the prescribed tasks,

·         Partnerships with local contractors, consultants, or service providers,

·         Ability to complete the project by August 31, 2017,

·         Project Schedule and cost, and

·         Evaluation of references.

 

 

G.  PROPOSED EVALUATION SCHEDULE

Solicitation for Proposals/Qualifications: February 26, 2016                        

Proposals/Qualifications Due:

March 24, 2016 - No later than 12:00pm Central Time                                             

Review/Interviews: Week of April 4, 2016

                                                                       

CONSULTANT Selection: No later than April 11, 2016      


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