Baltimore's Promise

Request for Qualifications: Race Equity and Inclusion Training

RFQ Open Date: Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 9:00 AM ET
RFQ Close Date: Thursday, August 1, 2019 at 5:00 PM ET
Download a PDF Copy of the Request for Qualifications here.

Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Grads2Careers is a collaborative project of Baltimore’s Promise, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED), and Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) initiated to offer occupational skills training to City Schools graduates who do not plan to pursue higher education in the year following graduation. The objectives of Grads2Careers are 1) to create a pathway connecting Baltimore City youth to career tracks that lead to a family-supporting wage, and 2) to align education and employment systems to create a pathway from City Schools to occupational skills training programs to employment.

It is important to note that Grads2Careers is a demonstration model, meaning that while the initiative is designed to improve outcomes for its participants, the initiative and its partners acknowledge that this is a relatively new approach to serving this population and that there are many lessons to be learned through the implementation of the initiative. Currently, the initiative is in its second implementation cycle (Cycle 2). Grads2Careers has contracted with eight organizations to provide occupational skills training and employment placement to participants ages 18 – 21 from Baltimore City for Cycle 2.

Through this RFQ, Grads2Careers is seeking an experienced Race Equity and Inclusion (REI)  training provider to offer training for the staff and leadership of Grads2Careers (from Baltimore’s Promise, City Schools, and MOED) as well as selected leadership and staff of the eight occupational skills training organizations contracted to serve Grads2Careers participants.

Rationale for Training

Too many Baltimore City youth and young adults face significant obstacles to achieving their full potential. Opportunity and paths to success are not equitably available to all of Baltimore’s young people. Through generations of collective history in our city—confirmed by bodies of research—we know inequities in opportunity and disparities in outcomes are driven by race, gender, socioeconomic status, culture, disabilities, and other societal factors.

In Baltimore City, systemic race-based barriers disproportionately affect Black youth as well as youth in other communities of color. For Grads2Careers to ensure that participants succeed in their goals of completing occupational skills training and obtaining a full-time, career-track employment, Grads2Careers and its partners must apply an equity lens that allows us to better understand the barriers and the challenges faced by our participants, their families, and the communities in which they live.

This training serves as a first and intentional step in developing an equity lens through shared language and shared understanding about issues of racial equity that impact the participants and partners of Grads2Careers. For context, Grads2Careers ran its first implementation cycle (Cycle 1) from March 2018 to June 2019. The participant cohort for Cycle 1 was 89% Black/African American. For Cycle 2 (April 2019 – June 2020), the initiative expects similar student demographics.

Following this training, Grads2Careers plans to provide the space and support for partners and initiative staff and leadership to apply what has been learned to their current practice and future program development. Ultimately, the knowledge, insight, and shared understanding gained through this training will enable Grads2Careers to better shape targeted strategies that meet specific needs of its participants while improving participant experiences in the initiative and their employment outcomes.


The selected REI trainer will be required to provide a training that is designed to empower participants to do the following:

• build a clear and shared understanding of key concepts including but not limited to racial equity, types of racism (structural, institutional, interpersonal, and internalized), implicit bias, privilege, and oppression
• build a clear and shared understanding of the local historical and current context of Baltimore City and how issues of racial inequity persist locally, particularly issues impacting the success of Grads2Careers participants
• learn to talk about race constructively within their organizations, partners, vendors, and Grads2Careers participants
• gain tools and strategies for counteracting racial bias in their work and practice

The training will be administered to between 30 to 40 individuals ranging from frontline staff to organizational leadership with the training provided over the course of no more than 16 hours in October, November, or December 2019.

Submission Instructions

To indicate your interest in this opportunity, please submit the following information about the training you provide in the form of a proposal not to exceed ten pages:

• Description of proposed training including desired outcomes and training schedule/agenda
• Typical length/duration of training
• Maximum number of participants for each training
• At least three examples of past clients, particularly those that have a similar structure of Grads2Careers or organizations with workforce or youth development foci, with a short description of the nature of the training provided
• Bio and/or resumes for trainer(s) who would be facilitating this training 
• Contact information (name, role, phone number, and e-mail address) for at least three past clients who can serve as a reference
• Contact information (name, role, phone number, and e-mail address) for this proposal
• Cost of training, inclusive of necessary pre-training planning and follow up

You must submit your proposal and qualifications to Janelle Gendrano (Deputy Director, Baltimore’s Promise), at by July 31, 2019 at 5:00 PM ET. All submissions must be received by e-mail. Late proposals will not be considered.

Grads2Careers will entertain clarifying questions by July 26, 2019 at 5:00 PM ET. Grads2Careers will make all submitted questions and responses available for any interested applicants who request it via e-mail prior to the submission deadline.

Grads2Careers will make a decision by August 12, 2019 and notify the proposal point of contact accordingly.