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Request for Proposals

The connections between the availability of high quality human resources and the attainment of economic development goals become of increasing importance to the overall health of Ohio.  States that lead the charge in this area develop strategies that build education and training infrastructures that include the dynamic nature of regional economies and labor markets.

In pursuit of such opportunities on which to construct a resilient workforce ecosystem, the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) will make regionally strategic investments in education equipment and co-op and internship programs.  These investments will develop and support post-secondary institutions workforce development initiatives that focus on furthering the economic growth of students and businesses in the region.  Funded projects will be tied to actively supporting the ability of the state of Ohio to retain and expand existing businesses, attract new enterprises, and further entrepreneurship where talent and workforce issues are a key cornerstone of business engagement in the region. 


RAPIDS Overarching Goal

Alignment of state investments against regionally verified workforce demand


Desired Outcomes

  1. Build regional strengths in servicing the industry sectors most in need at the regional level.
  2. Drive local and regional partnering in areas that make the most sense.
  3. Address duplication, adhering to strategies that focus on sharing, transferability, quality, and value.
  4. Develop regional strengths in delivering equipment-dependent workplace skills, education, and training.
  5. Develop regional strategies in building internship and co-op programs that encompass a diverse population of students and careers, positioning these programs as value-added talent resources for local and regional businesses.
  6. Align investments in equipment and co-ops and internships with regional/local economic development strategies focused on business attraction, retention, and expansion.
  7. Enhance the impact of statewide equipment and work-based learning investments by incorporating community development block grants, foundation, federal, and other funded strategies that build on economic development strategies fueled by workforce priorities.
  8. Inventory assets in these key areas, developing regional profiles that can serve as blueprints for ongoing strategic investment.


Available Funds

  • Equipment: Investments of nearly $8 million allocated by region will be made in equipment. 
  • Internships and Co-ops: Investments of $285,833 per region (total of six regions) will fund internship and co-op activities and plans.


1.) May RAPIDS funds be used for facility renovation?

The funds may not be used for facility improvements. The intent of the program is to support equipment placed at multiple locations and accessible across a region. Investments in one particular facility for a permanent dedicated use do not readily support workforce development able to reach a large number of individuals.

2.) In the last round, applicants were asked to submit one quote with the proposal and then three quotes for each item before purchase. Will this be the case again?  

Yes, applicants must submit one quote with the RFP. During the equipment purchasing process, institutions will need to coordinate their efforts to follow the Ohio Revised Code as it governs the purchase.