Providing Systems and Solutions to help V ermont Manufacturers  Innovate, Plan, Perform and Grow
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VMEC E-NEWS BRIEFS - ISSUE 43 - FEBRUARY 2020

CEO CORNER 

2019 VMEC Impact Report released! VMEC has a 25 year track record  helping manufacture rs and organi zations achieve measured outcomes and impacts. Read the latest client-reported results and testimonials 
on how VMEC assists companies and the significant impact Vermont's manufacturing sector and overall economy benefits the Green Mountain State. 

Meet Chris Paulk, VMEC's newest Professional Manufacturing & Business Growth Advisor   Working from a home-office base in the Woodstock area, Chris' role will focus on business development to bring the Center the opportunity to work with start-ups, help foster idea development pipelines within the state, coordinate technology demands and serve as the outreach specialist for educational endeavors.

The Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development (ACCD) has proposed legislation aimed at "Growing The Economy" and "Helping Job Creators Survive and Grow."  Read the ACCD summaries of these four important legislative proposals on our White Papers link here. Should you have questions or need further information on the proposed legislation, please contact Joan Goldstein, Commissioner, Department of Economic Development (DED), at joan.goldstein@vermont.gov.  

INNOVATION, GROWTH and  TECHNOLOGY ACCELERATION 
 
What's your company's Strategic Plan? Do you have one? Is it followed? VMEC is vested in the successful planning and deployment of client companies' strategies. Let us help you define your organization's path, giving you content and structure, moving towards your goals. Read our latest blog post...we want you to achieve your greatest potential! 

Manufacturing 2020: 5G, AI, IoT And Cloud-Based Systems Will Take Over  2020 will be a year when manufacturers move deeper into digital production systems. New technology will blend with existing tech to digital production that requires a skilled workforce.

Additive Manufacturing on the Rise   Read how a move towards an open ecosystem could fuel greater adoption of additive technologies. 

CYBERSECURITY 

Protecting against a growing threat for everyone!
 
Inaugural Cybersecurity Resiliency Awareness event a success On February 13, VMEC hosted the first in a series of Cybersecurity Awareness events for Defense Contractors in Hyde Park, Vt. Approximately 30 individuals were in attendance, which included many representatives from the manufacturing sector as well as from Vermont's Agency of Commerce and Community  Development (ACCD) and the VT Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). This free half-day training was presented by the New England Regional Defense Industry Collaboration (NERDIC) and the New England MEP National Network Centers.  Defense contractors gained an understanding of what is meant by cybersecurity resiliency, how to manage their risk and what steps they can take to ensure adequate protection of information and the future of their businesses.  Additional Vermont Awareness events are being planned and will be posted soon; please view our Cybersecurity page for upcoming events in the New England area.  

How Vulnerable Are You To a Cyber Attack? A Self-Assessment Tool for Manufacturers It's important for everyone - manufacturers and others - to recognize the growing threat of cyber attacks and how to prevent them.  Vulnerabilities exploited by cyber criminals can suddenly shut down your company operations, requiring you to spend many thousands of dollars to recover, enhance security measures and then reassure customers that you're still trustworthy!

CMMC vs. DFARS vs. NIST SP 800-171: What's the Difference? CMMC and DFARS are cybersecurity terms that you need to know, but what do they mean, and what's the relationship between them? For that matter, what does NIST SP 800-171 have to do with either of them? Whether you're a family-owned machine shop or a Tier 1 supplier, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) expects you to protect specific types of information.

NIST Offers Strategies to Help Businesses Secure Their Cyber Supply Chains  Technology products are commonly built using components and services supplied by third-party manufacturers and suppliers, making them difficult to secure effectively against malware and other threats.  
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE and CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT 

ExporTechâ„¢ 2020  If you are ready to make the investment of time, ExporTechâ„¢ can unlock your export growth potential. 30 companies in VT have successfully completed this program...are you next?? State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grants may be available to assist "eligible small business concerns" in entering and succeeding in the international marketplace. Services under the STEP Program are funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The program begins on March 31...will you be there?

Industry 4.0 Can Solve the Productivity Gap: Five Actions for Leaders of Small and Mid-sized Manufacturers  Many new technologies offer step-function improvements at reasonable costs for the small and mid-sized manufacturer budget. 

Preparing for a New Decade of U.S. Manufacturing  Reflection provides an opportunity to learn and improve and extends beyond just an individual, but also to industries and businesses.  The U.S. manufacturing industry is entering this new decade in a much different state than when it entered the last.  
WORKFORCE STRATEGIES and TALENT DEVELOPMENT     

Stafford Technical Center offers students new VMEC Lean Principles pilot training program  Last December, 17 Rutland high school students received a competitive advantage in their future manufacturing career search by participating in Vermont's first-ever Lean certification program created specifically for this student population.

Upcoming VMEC Training   See what we're offering you and your employees!  

2019 Regional Workforce Summit Report  This report was compiled by the Vermont Department of Labor, State Workforce Development Board, Workforce Development Division of the Vermont Department of Labor and the Regional Development Corporations of Vermont.  It addresses the importance of Vermont workers and their training for jobs available now and in the future, so Vermont's economy remains strong.

Soft skills for a hard world Social, emotional, and technological skills are becoming more crucial as intelligent machines take over more physical, repetitive and basic cognitive tasks.

Workplaces for All  The State of Vermont has launched a new website and outreach campaign addressing sexual harassment and workplace discrimination called Workplaces for All. This campaign is a result of legislation which allocated funds to the Vermont Commission on Women, in consultation with the Vermont Attorney General's Office and the Vermont Human Rights Commission, to inform and assist Vermont employees, employers, and the public about the laws related to and best practices for preventing sexual harassment and workplace discrimination.

RESOURCES for VERMONT MANUFACTURERS 

Partner Events  Check out what a few of our partner agencies have to offer for you and your staff! 

Computer Aided Technology (CNC) course - March - June 2020, Springfield  The Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering program will be offering this FREE  Vermont Technical College  course.  This class is fully grant funded for all students  by the U.S. Department of Labor.