WE’VE REFRESHED OUR ANALYSIS OF GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING HOTSPOTS SEE THE 2017 RANKINGS HERE As reported in our latest study, 10 Hotspots in Government Contracting for 2016, Onvia’s market analysis team discovered that state, local and education (SLED) government contracts related to social services grew 14% in 2015 over 2014. Out of nearly 500 unique industry categories, social services holds the #10 spot for bid & RFP rate of growth in the SLED contracting market. Driven By Efficiency: Agencies Find Creative Ways to Fix Social Problems A recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirmed that social work is one of the top growth segments among occupations through 2024. In order to address societal problems such as homelessness, poverty and hunger, agencies look to tackle these issues with efficiency, accountability and effective use of taxpayer dollars. One approach that is catching on among SLED government officials is the social impact financing or “pay for success” contracting model where private investors provide upfront funding for social service initiatives, allowing for quicker execution and reduced risk on the agency. As with many government services, technology tools, such as analytics, also play a role in helping officials understand and use complex data as effectively and efficiently as possible. Predictive analytics can increase understanding of the relative effectiveness of different programs so that interventions – and resources – can be smartly targeted for better outcomes.Dave Cortese, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. Which Agencies Issue the Most Contracts Related to Social Services? Onvia’s analysis shows that social services vendors are most likely to find the most steady project volumes at the state level of government which represents a 40% share of all SLED social services contracts. Contractors can further narrow efforts to the top 5 states for issuing bids & RFPs related to social services: County-level agencies come in at second place, representing a 32% share of the contracts. However, businesses pursuing government social services contracts shouldn’t avoid cities and special districts: They may have less current projects than counties and state agencies, but they represent the fastest growing levels of government issuing social services-related contracts. How to Beat the Competition for Social Services Contracts With the average awarded value of SLED social services contracts coming out to a healthy $1.4 million, contractors have an opportunity to not only help governments solve social issues efficiently, but also have an opportunity to significantly grow their government sales revenue. Onvia recommends tracking contracts that are coming up for renewal. Another useful tip is to uncover early discussions around how to fix social problems in budget documents to identify which agencies to influence prior to the publication of the bid or RFP. Social Services Isn’t the Only Growing Segment in Government Contracting Watch the video below to learn about 9 other contracting hotspots that have seen notable growth rates in bids & RFPs over the last two years: