Proposals must be received no later than 5 p.m., Thursday, December 20, 2018.


The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) is seeking proposals from qualified professionals who are knowledgeable in research and development, planning, and data analysis for Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) planning services for Central Oklahoma region.

Throughout this RFP, Central Oklahoma is defined geographically as the combined areas of Oklahoma, Cleveland, Canadian and Logan Counties.


In 2010, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) asked the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) to complete a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for Central Oklahoma in order to become an official Economic Development District (EDD). The ACOG Board of Directors approved the action that same year. Shortly thereafter, ACOG was awarded a matching grant from EDA to complete a CEDS as well as coordinate designation activities. The CEDS was completed in 2013, and that same year ACOG was designated an official EDD by EDA.


The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is a prerequisite for designation by EDA as an Economic Development District (EDD). In addition, regions must update their CEDS at least every five years to qualify for EDA assistance under its Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs, and to maintain federal designation as an Economic Development District. The Central Oklahoma CEDS must receive a comprehensive update in 2019.

What Is A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy?

The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy contributes to effective economic development in Central Oklahoma’s towns, cities and counties through a locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process.  Economic development planning, as implemented through the CEDS, is a cornerstone of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s programs, and successfully serves as a means to engage community leaders, leverage the involvement of the private sector, and establish a strategic blueprint for regional collaboration. The CEDS provides the capacity-building foundation by which the public sector, working in conjunction with other economic actors, including individuals, firms, industries, creates the environment for regional economic prosperity.

Simply put, a CEDS is a strategy-driven plan for regional economic development.  A CEDS is the result of a regionally-owned planning process designed to build capacity and guide the economic prosperity and resiliency of an area or region.

It is a key component in establishing and maintaining a robust economic ecosystem by helping to build regional capacity (through hard and soft infrastructure) that contributes to individual, firm, and community success. The CEDS provides a vehicle for individuals, organizations, local governments, institutes of learning, and private industry to engage in a meaningful conversation and debate about what capacity building efforts would best serve economic development in the region.

Plan Area

The plan area includes the four counties traditionally described as the Central Oklahoma region. They are Canadian, Cleveland, Logan and Oklahoma Counties.

Proposal Content

Responses to the RFP should include a detailed work plan that includes, identifies and/or addresses a variety of things including various elements of the new CEDS.

  • Overall timelines, schedule, milestones and budget necessary to complete the CEDS
  • Specific activities that will be accomplished
  • Staffing and number of hours that will be devoted to each activity
  • Descriptions of work products that will be produced
  • A process for communication with the sponsoring agencies
  • Collection of data and assessment of needs
  • Methods and tools of research, evaluations, forecasting, analysis
  • Report preparation and documentation

The comprehensive update of the Central Oklahoma CEDS should:

  • Present background and historical information about economic development
  • Evaluate the economic conditions of Central Oklahoma
  • Identify Central Oklahoma economic development strengths and constraints
  • Identify infrastructure needs
  • Evaluate the needs of the Central Oklahoma region, including a full SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis concerning economic development
  • Evaluate the infrastructure inventory of the Central Oklahoma region
  • Assess appropriate economic development strategies for Central Oklahoma.
  • Anticipate Central Oklahoma economic development activity, potential future developments, current and future plans and other information that could affect the project
  • Evaluate local and regional labor characteristics; recommend actions to strengthen links between regional educational institutions and employment development providers
  • Identify appropriate economic development strategies for Central Oklahoma
  • Identify the goals and visions for the region
  • Set the Course for future development actions
  • Create a strategic action plan to achieve goals and objectives
  • Establish evaluation standards to measure the success of the strategies
  • Identify other potential opportunities and issues
  • Outline ACOG’s role in helping Central Oklahoma recover from future disruptions, and reposition the region to move forward. This should include, but not be limited to:
    • Illustrating ACOG’s ability to navigate federal programs
    • Documenting ACOG’s Technical Expertise, agency-wide
    • Identifying ACOG’s Broad Network of Partners
    • Prioritizing resilient transportation investments
    • Diversifying the Regional Economy
    • Assessing Economic Vulnerabilities
    • Promoting Green Infrastructure
    • Promoting Safe Development
  • Provide Resiliency and Disaster Plans
    • The CEDS should address resiliency and recovery in the face of natural disasters and other major economic disruptions in our changing global economy. It should outline ways to:
      • Diversify the regional economy away from a declining sector
      • Deal with the impacts of the loss of a major employer
      • Position Central Oklahoma to withstand and quickly recover from the effects of natural disasters, a changing climate, and other economic shocks
  • Identify Funding Opportunities
    • Research and identify federal, state and local funding sources
    • Identify opportunities for joint development and/or public-private partnerships

Please Note: The design of the final CEDS must be in compliance with ACOG’s visual identity standards. ACOG will provide and perform creative direction including final layout, art, photography and illustration direction.

Supporting Documents, Plans and Initiatives

Central Oklahoma Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
2040 Plan Summary
FFY 2018-2021 Transportation Improvement Plan
ODOT’s Long Range Transportation
ODOT’s Freight Transportation Plan
Edmond Plan IV Comprehensive Plan
Norman Forward
Plan OKC
The Brookings Institute – Advancing the Oklahoma City Innovation District
The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City
City of Oklahoma City Economic Development
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development
Oklahoma State Chamber
Oklahoma Department of Commerce


The allocated budget for this scope of work is $100,000. The winning proposal will be determined based on a number of factors that work together to create the best value for ACOG. These include quality, cost, efficiency, qualifications and experience. Proposeres are responsible for all costs of developing and submitting a proposal package, interviews or any other bidder costs associated with responding to this solicitation.

Evaluation Criteria

Responses to this proposal will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Qualification/experience of prime consultant with studies of similar type and size
  • Qualification/experience of sub consultants with studies of similar type and size and/or special expertise beneficial to study
  • Demonstration of knowledge of economic development principles and trends
  • Indication of sufficient staff for all facets of the study
  • Past record of performance on similar projects
  • Proposed cost of the study and demonstration of commitment for meeting the project budget and schedule

A selection committee comprised of ACOG staff, representatives of ACOG technical and/or policy committees and Central Oklahoma economic development professionals will review the proposals, conduct the interviews and select the project consultant.  Interviews will be scheduled for January 2019.

Proposed Schedule

  • RFP issue date: November 1, 2018
  • Deadline for proposals:  December 20, 2018
  • Review by RFP Committee: January 12, 2019
  • Consultant Interviews: January 23, 2019
  • Consultant recommendation determined: January 23, 2019
  • Consultant Selection approval: January 31, 2019
  • Project Commencement Date:  February 1, 2019
  • Project Completion Date: July 31, 2019

Central Oklahoma CEDS, Governance and Deployment

The hired consultant will cooperate and work with ACOG staff and regional economic development partners in the preparation and development of the proposed CEDS. After the proposed CEDS is reviewed and approved by ACOG’s policy board, the ACOG Board of Directors, ACOG will then coordinate the work of the CEDS Committee, a technical committee of public and private stakeholders. Together, these stakeholders will work to deploy and implement the recommendations and strategies of the CEDS plan.

Economic Development in Central Oklahoma

Central Oklahoma has several very dynamic organizations dedicated to economic development.  The City of Oklahoma City in cooperation with the Oklahoma City Alliance for Economic Development has a successful track record of economic development projects. In addition, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce is heavily engaged in industry-building efforts. There are also many smaller organizations and municipalities including, but not limited to area chambers of commerce and nonprofits dedicated to various aspects of economic development. They are primarily focused on job creation within their respective jurisdictions and/or area of interest.

CEDS partner entities include, but are not limited to:

  • Association of Central Oklahoma Governments Policy and Technical Committees
    • ACOG Board of Directors (37 Municipalities and/or Entities in a four-county region comprising Central Oklahoma
    • CEDS Committee for Central Oklahoma (Visit to see a current list of Advisory Committee Members.)
    • Intermodal Transportation Policy Committee (ITPC)
    • Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Task Force
    • Areawide Planning and Technical Advisory Committee (APTAC)
    • Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC)
  • Oklahoma City Alliance for Economic Development
  • The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority
  • The Oklahoma City Redevelopment Authority
  • Norman Economic Development Council
  • Central Oklahoma Workforce Investment Board
  • Eastern Oklahoma County Partnership
  • Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education
  • Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce
  • Tinker Air Force Base
  • OG &E Energy Corporation
  • Cox Communications

About ACOG

Established in 1966, ACOG is an Association of local governments (the cities, towns and county governments) within the Central Oklahoma area.  ACOG works as a regional planning organization on multiple missions including mobility, public safety, water and quality of life issues that impact the citizens of Central Oklahoma. ACOG is one of 11 “councils of government” charged with addressing regional issues and partnerships throughout the State of Oklahoma.

ACOG is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the greater Oklahoma City region.  The MPO is a federally recognized entity that coordinates transportation planning and determines priorities for transportation funding.

ACOG assists its member local governments with regional planning and program deployment and provides a wide range of technical assistance on services that also include management of the regional 9-1-1 emergency phone system, surface and groundwater policy, regional initiatives and other long-range strategic programming.

The Association’s primary service region includes Oklahoma, Cleveland, Canadian and Logan Counties, but sometimes extends beyond these boundaries depending on the particular program or partnership.   The City of Oklahoma City is situated within the region and is home to the Oklahoma State Capitol complex and seat of state government.


Legal Matters

A.  It is understood that this RFP does not obligate ACOG to pay any costs incurred by the applicants in the preparation and submission of a proposal or an interview.

B.  The Association reserves the right to reject any or all proposals and to negotiate the terms of the contract, including the award amount, with the selected vendor prior to entering a contract.

C.  As a public agency formed under Title 74, Oklahoma Statutes, ACOG is exempt from income, property and sales tax.

D.  The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 78 Stat. 252, 42 U.S.C 2000d to 2000-4, hereby notifies all bidders that it will affirmatively ensure that in any contract entered into pursuant to this advertisement, Disadvantaged Business Enterprises will be afforded full opportunity to submit bids in response to this invitation and will not be discriminated against on the grounds of race, color, sex, age, national origin, disability/handicap, or income status in consideration of award.

E.  Upon completion of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, all data, maps and reports shall be the property of ACOG.

F.  This is a competitive proposal. Insurance will be required.


Proposals must be received no later than 5 p.m., Thursday, December 20, 2018.

Send proposals via mail or email to:
Beverly Garner, Assistant to the Executive Director
Association of Central Oklahoma Governments
4205 N. Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma  73105
(405) 234-2264

Other Contacts

Mark W. Sweeney, AICP, Executive Director
Association of Central Oklahoma Governments
4205 N. Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma  73105
(405) 234-2264

Jennifer McCollum, APR
Director, PR & Community Development
Association of Central Oklahoma Governments
4205 N. Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
(405) 234-2264


Please submit questions in writing via email to Questions and answers will be published at This RFP may be downloaded at

Staff Contacts

Mark W. Sweeney, AICP
Executive Director

Beverly Garner
Executive Assistant

Jennifer James McCollum, APR
PR & Community Development DIrector

(405) 234-2264

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