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Life Sciences Workforce Development Initiative RFP Info Session Recap

An information session was held for the Life Sciences Workforce Development Initiative (LSWDI) Request for Proposals (RFP) on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, at 4 p.m. You can find the recording of the session and the Q&As below. The powerpoint presentation can be found here

Full proposals are due no later than 5 p.m. EST on Friday, July 21, 2023. Proposals must be uploaded as a single PDF document with all relevant attachments included in this link. Please use the naming convention OrgName_LSWDIproposalCY23. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to ensure their information is complete and submitted on time.

Download the Request for Proposals 

Questions regarding this RFP should be submitted in writing to Sarah Soroui, Director of Research, Evaluation and Analytics, via email at by Friday, July 14, 2023 at 5 p.m. EST. Phone calls will not be accepted. Responses to questions received during the procurement process will be posted on this page. It is the bidders’ responsibility to check the website for updates and postings. 

Interested in other funding opportunities? You can sign up online to receive notifications. 

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Questions & Answers


We anticipate selecting 1 intermediary for Category 2 proposals.

Yes, $100k is the minimum award amount for Category 1. We anticipate that awards will range from $100k - $400k, but that can fluctuate depending on the number of proposals received.

It is a two-year contract with a start date of October 2, 2023, and an end date of October 2, 2025.

Yes, you can find the powerpoint presentation here


There are no income requirements under ARPA. Although no particular percentage is set for funding under one source or the other, $1.65 million is available under NJT so that a majority will be funded by ARPA. Funding for the intermediary will come from ARPA. All programs should be prepared to collect the required income and residency verification documents from program participants and should design programs that can support those with barriers to employment. OWD staff will make the determination regarding the funding source utilized for each contract based on availability and suitability

We have not set a number of expected participants. However, we understand that the per capita cost will likely be higher for the life sciences based on the length of training and the skills and credentials earned. The overall goal is to increase the number of residents prepared for careers in life sciences while balancing the anticipated higher per capita cost of these training programs. 

No, there is not a minimum number of Boston residents. However, training participants funded under the award must be Boston residents. Participants in the program funded through other sources may be non-boston residents

No, the applicant does not have to be based in Boston. However, the training must be available and accessible to Boston residents.

Sometimes. There are Life Sciences occupations in healthcare. However, EMT is not typically considered a Life Science occupation.

Recruitment is the responsibility of the training provider. However, we do envision that the intermediary could potentially serve as a centralized recruitment and matching platform. Under Category 1, the program should have all the elements listed in the RFP, including recruitment as part of their program/ training model. 

We have not set a maximum, and there is no set cost-per-participant. We are hoping to learn through this process what the cost per is in this sector. The goal is to increase the number of community-based training programs, hoping to fund programs with a balance of the higher per capita cost but also increasing the availability of training programs. Our typical cost per is around 8K-10K, but we anticipate it could be higher in this sector. 

Yes, this is something that can be discussed during the contracting phase.

Participants must live in boston.

Yes, the  lead applicants must be a 501 c 3 non-profit or institution of higher education.

The lead applicant must be a non-profit or institution of higher education.

Life Sciences industries include the following:

  • Scientific Research and Development Services,
  • Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing, and
  • Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing.

Email Sarah Soroui at

You can only apply as the lead applicant on one application, but you could apply in partnership with another agency as a non-lead application for another program. You may also have multiple employer partners and multiple cohorts under a single application with your organization as a lead applicant.

In this instance, we would not require a new job placement but rather an outcome based on some kind of advancement or placement in a new role.

Email Sarah Soroui at if you are interested in information about life science occupations in healthcare, but this will not be posted on the website

Yes. A college or provider of higher ed can be a lead entity for a private company in addition to a non-profit.

No intermediary has been identified yet, rather we hope that this process will stand up an intermediary. We expect that the training providers identified through this RFP and the intermediary will work together. 

This procurement and the $4M available is only part of this initiative and is not intended to meet the full 1000 jobs with this funding alone. We anticipate there may be additional investments to support this goal from the Mayor, including both financial investments and other initiatives and efforts across the city.

Since we are forming a new intermediary entity, we expect it to engage Category 1 training providers in a planning process to develop its agenda, activities, and alignment strategies. Once an agenda and strategic plan are developed, we expect Category 1 providers to engage with the intermediary to support the implementation of planned activities.

We expect the intermediary to remove individual and institutional barriers to training participation and job placement. The intermediary can provide services directly or works through partners to do so.

The Life Sciences Workforce Development Initiative represents a small part of the overall Life Sciences workforce development system. We expect the intermediary will provide capacity-building support, labor market analysis, employer engagement, strategic alignment, and (where appropriate) centralized wrap-around support to a wider network of training providers.

Every Category 1 funded organization must have its own employer relationships. As it develops, the intermediary will serve as space for providers to tap into a broader network of employers.

The Category 1 organizations are working with their own employers and would have their own curriculum in place to do their training. We don't expect the intermediary to support curriculum alignment for programs that already have established employer connections. However, as it develops, the role of the intermediary is to support new partnerships that emerge between employers and providers, so we expect curriculum alignment to be part of that process. 

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