Release Date: Friday, November 13, 2020
Due Date: Friday, December 4, 2020 – by 4:00 p.m.

Request Issued by:

The Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) is seeking to contract with an individual or firm to conduct a process that will guide ARDC in determining competitive employee compensation.

ARDC is a quasi-governmental political subdivision covering seven counties in northeast Minnesota (Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, St. Louis and the Tribal governments within that planning and services area) and a designated Area Agency on Aging.  ARDC has a wide variety of programs involving transportation planning, land use planning, and economic development, aging services development and planning, long term services and support, and grant management. ARDC is based in Duluth and has about 45 employees.

ARDC is seeking to compare its salary ranges and benefits package with other RDC’s, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Area Agencies on Aging, and local government planning departments.  Additionally, an analysis of the cost of living in Duluth versus the locations of the stated agencies should be developed. The overall comparison will be used to ensure ARDC’s compensation is competitive with other planning entities in the upper Midwest (MN, WI and ND).

The process must be completed by Mid-March 2021 to present to the ARDC Board of Directors.

Interested parties should submit a brief proposal to ARDC containing the following:

  1. Description of proposed process to reach named entities in the upper Midwest and develop a report on findings
  2. Succinct qualification descriptions of the key personnel that would be working on the project
  3. Descriptions of two projects the proposer has completed previously
  4. Listing of contact information for one reference, preferably a client for a similar project
  5. A budget showing costs for personnel, travel expenses, directly related office supplies and administrative costs (significant equipment purchases will not be allowed)

Proposals should be emailed to Krista Mattila at by 4:00pm on Friday, December 4, 2020.  Questions should be sent to the same address.  Answers to any questions received will be made available to all proposers at:

ARDC will determine a project awardee in December 2020.  The decision will be heavily weighted on demonstrated ability and cost.   Check  for decision updates.  ARDC reserves the right to not award the project to any respondents if none are able to meet the project’s terms or other circumstances arise.

Download a PDF version of this RFP by clicking here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is the data for internal use or does ARDC plan to use the data more broadly?

        The data will be used for internal use only.

2. Is ARDC a union environment? If so, how many and which unions are represented?

        ARDC is not an union environment.

3. The RFP describes data from other planning entities in the upper Midwest (MN, WI and ND). Are the named “entities” already defined by ARDC or will they be defined by the consultant? And how many entities will be contacted?

        We will provide a list to the consultant. We expect to have 45 entities contacted.

4. The RFP describes ARDC with 45 employees: How many job titles/positions for comparison data?

        There will be approximately 24 positions to review.

5. The RFP describes ARDC with 45 employees: Does ARDC use levels? If so, how many are represented within each job title?

        Yes.  ARDC has 15 Classification levels.  Most have only one job title represented.  Six of them have 2 to 4 job titles.