Letter from the President & CEO
Dear Members,

I want to begin by extending well wishes from the VMA staff and Board of Directors to every member affected by COVID-19. The next 90 days are going to be challenging and we are prepared to provide consistent leadership throughout this crisis to ensure that members are protected. Our priorities are to reinforce confidence in our public institutions and the manufacturing sector as an essential service, disseminate qualified information, share industry best-practices, and advocate for responsible regulatory/legislative remedies that protect public health and the economy. Please join me and the Board of Directors at 12 pm on March 23 for a member webinar to discuss these issues (details are in the next section of this newsletter).

However, to give an interim report on our COVID-19 activities, the VMA's first action was to launch the VMA COVID-19 Resource Center . This site will be regularly updated with relevant regulations, resources and best-practices. Our next action was to request executive action from Governor Northam in the form of regulatory flexibility for affected manufacturers, suppliers, contractors and employees. A recommendation that Governor Northam has already approved through executive order is the waiver of the one week waiting period before filing for unemployment insurance benefits. We have also requested 90+ day deferrals for income tax payments, payroll tax payments, business license fee payments, and excise tax payments for affected companies. Going forward, we are working to ensure that the manufacturing and logistics sectors are deemed "essential services" and exempt from any potential closure or limited public gathering mandate such as has been issued for the restaurants, fitness centers, craft beer tasting rooms, and theaters.

At the Federal level, the VMA weighed in on the potentially calamitous U.S. H.R.6201 that has now passed Congress and will mandate two weeks of mandatory paid leave for all employees of companies under 500 employees. In a communication with US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross' team and the National Association of Manufacturers, the VMA expressed concerns that the legislation will exacerbate layoffs unless a third stimulus bill is passed with significant small business support to offset these new entitlements.

In closing, we are usually reporting on the conclusion of the latest General Assembly session at this time of year, but the COVID-19 situation has taken precedent. Regardless, we will be publishing the 2020 Legislative Session Wrap-Up Report next week in a special edition of The Virginia Manufacturer. It will detail the Gubernatorial amendments we are seeking, as well as dive deep into the record-breaking number of bills (575 total) that we worked on this session. This includes defeating "Fair Share," "Mandatory Paid Leave," and "Aboveground Storage Tank" legislation with our Coalition for a Strong Virginia Economy partners, to just name a few of the 144 select defensive bills from this session.

I look forward to speaking with you next Monday on the COVID-19 webinar. Be safe, wash your hands and practice social distancing (who knows, you may like it).
Best Wishes,

Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO
Government Affairs & Advocacy
VMA All-Member COVID-19 Response Call

The VMA will host a call on Monday, March 23rd, from 12PM - 1PM, to discuss best practices in response to the COVID-19 situ ation. This call WILL be recorded. The call recording will be available on the VMA Coronavirus Resource web page by the end of the day. 

Call-in Options:
Meeting Number: 623 095 621
Password: VMA2020
Join by phone: +1-510-338-9438 (USA Toll)
Access Code: 623 095 621

Please utilize the VMA's Coronavirus Resource page which contains standard CDC information, resources from the Small Business Administration, and updates from NAM. On March 10th, the Manufacturing Leadership Council and NAM hosted a call with manufacturers across the country to discuss best practices. You can listen to a recording of the call here .
National Association of Manufacturers Releases Policy Action Plan in Response to COVID-19

NAM has released a policy action plan in response to the Coronavirus situation. This focuses on specific actions in keeping our workforce safe and healthy, protecting our communities, providing economic stability, encouraging resilient growth in the United States, and encouraging long-term job growth.
Member Benefits
March Webinar:
Save Money with the Reliability Center
Tuesday, March 24
11:30AM - 12:00PM

Help your team solve more problems faster! The VMA is excited to welcome Carlos Oti from Reliability Center Inc. on board to discuss how RCA (Root Cause Analysis) Solutions can save you money. Don't miss out on the savings - join us for our March Webinar to make Reliability a habit.
Business Services of the Month:
VMA Employee Benefits Plan

Through the VMA's Employee Benefits Plan, we are able to offer coverage that would otherwise not be available to companies in the small market. The plan provides access to:

  • One carrier, One solution, One bill
  • Potential discount on medical coverage if already with Anthem
  • Group rating on Dental with up to 2 coverage options (typically only available to companies with 100 employees or more)
  • Guaranteed conditioning and competitive pricing on Life & Disability not normally available to smaller groups
  • Security of large group with group specific rating on Life Insurance for groups over 50 employees

For more information on either of these Business Services or others, contact Ian Ginger at iginger@vamanufacturers.com.

TicketsatWork offers exclusive 20-60% discounts, special offers, access to preferred seating, & many other special perks for thousands of products, including theme parks, shows, sporting events, concerts, dinner shows, movies, and much more. It's super easy to sign up for this service, and it's available to all VMA members and their employees.

  1. Click here
  2. Fill out the information with either a work or personal email address
  3. Use the exclusive VMA Company Code - VMA 2017
Workforce Development
Industrial Hygiene Training (IHT) Certificate
Instilling public confidence in manufactured products depends upon Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and proper training. The MSI IHT Certificate helps individuals to:
  • Build on knowledge of food safety
  • Reduce injuries and health problems among coworkers
  • Gain knowledge of changing regulations, guidance documents, and regulatory interpretations
  • Demonstrate competency for working safely in a food and beverage setting
  • Learn the fundamentals needed to deal with food safety

To access this training and supporting learning management system or one of the other 1,600 online courses available to members, contact Jody Steele at jsteele@vamanufacturers.com .
9th Annual STIHL Manufacturing Technology Camp
Applications for the 9th Annual STIHL Manufacturing Technology Summer Camp are now open! This is a great opportunity for rising 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students to gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art manufacturing and engineering technology in a world-class production facility. Applications will be accepted until May 2, so if you know someone who would love this experience, be sure to act fast!

If you would like to learn more about summer camp opportunities in your area, or how your company can get involved in this program, please contact Antonya Hurt at ahurt@vamanufacturers.com .
Business Analytics for Strategic Leaders - a New College Institute Opportunity
Unlock the power of data-driven results with this program, taught by top-ranked faculty from William & Mary's Center for Corporate Education at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business. This program will provide leaders with a well-rounded perspective of critical components of a data healthy organization. Virginia Manufacturers Association members will receive a $100 discount on registration .
Women in Manufacturing
Women in Manufacturing (WiM) Hall of Fame Nominations

Thank you to everyone who joined us at Starr Hill Brewery on Thursday, March 12th to celebrate International Women's Day! You can view photos from the event on our Facebook page .

While we won't be meeting in-person for a while, the WiM (national) has begun accepting nominations online for their Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame. This award  honors women who have made outstanding contributions during the course of their established careers in manufacturing. Click here to view more and nominate an amazing woman in manufacturing.
DuPont Spruance Community Fund

On Wednesday, March 4, the DuPont Spruance site recognized the VMA WiM-Virginia Program as a recipient of its charitable giving award. Fifteen organizations were recognized totaling more than $130,000 in grants.

Thank you to DuPont and its employees for their support of our programs. Congratulations to all of the 2020 winners!

Pictured: Kimberly Noonan (VMA Member Services Director), Jordan Oligmueller (Advansix; WiM-Virginia Chair), and David Johnson (DuPont Spruance Plant Manager - VMA Board of Directors).
MFG Makes Virginia Spotlights
STIHL featured in "Made in Virginia"

Just when you think there isn't anything good to watch on TV anymore... Made in Virginia  is a TV show that takes viewers on a behind the scenes tour of the fascinating array of products manufactured throughout the Commonwealth.

This episode of "Made in Virginia" takes us to Virginia Beach to learn about manufacturing chainsaws with VMA member STIHL Inc. Founded in Germany in 1926, STIHL made its way to North America in 1974, drawn to Virginia Beach's deep water port access. They started by making one chain saw and now make over 80 products and produce over 4 million units per year. This episode highlights their apprenticeship program and efforts to keep manufacturing jobs in Virginia. Click on STIHL's logo below to view this episode of "Made in Virginia."
Technology Exploration Saturdays: Hands-on STEM Activities for 7th and 8th grade students

Technology Exploration Saturdays offers a three-part series of hands-on STEM activities for Peninsula-area 7th and 8th grade students. The activities, as well as career planning sessions for parents, are hosted at  Thomas Nelson Community College Canon Virginia  and  NASA Langley Research Center . In 2019, 77 students participated in this program.
Widget Cup Competition

The Widget Cup is an annual design/build competition for Career & Technical Education (CTE) students from high schools in Frederick County, Clarke County, and Winchester, Virginia. This year's event will take place on April 23, 2020 at James Wood High School from noon - 6:30.
Upcoming Events
Manufacturing Skills Institute 9th Annual Workforce Symposium

August 6th
Talley Workforce Center
John Tyler Community College
Virginia Environmental Health & Safety Conference

September 23 & 24
Hilton Richmond Hotel & Conference Center
Virginia Competitiveness Forum & WiM-Virginia Recognition Luncheon

Tuesday, November 17
Williamsburg Lodge
Conference Center
Upcoming VMA Committee Meetings

EHS&S Committee Meeting
April 2, 2020
1:00PM - 4:00PM

VMA Safety Committee
April 15, 2020
1:00PM - 3:00PM

VMA Workforce Solutions Committee
April 23, 2020
11:00AM - 3:00PM

Virginia Chemistry Council Meeting
May 7, 2020
10:00AM - 1:00PM

VMA Air Subcommittee Meeting
May 20, 2020
11:00AM - 2:00PM

In light of the recent situation surrounding COVID-19, all committee meetings will be held via WebEx. Call-in information will be provided by Kimberly Noonan upon registration .
Upcoming MIBE Executive Roundtables

With the ongoing COVID-19 public gathering restrictions, we have rescheduled the March 25 MIBE Executive Roundtable. The new MIBE Executive Roundtable schedule is as follows:

Richmond Raceway
600 E Laburnum Ave.
Richmond, VA 23222
April 16, 2020
1:00PM - 5:00PM

Canon Virginia
12000 Canon Blvd.
Newport News, VA 23606
May 18, 2020
9:00AM - 2:00PM

We will continue to monitor the situation and determine how best to facilitate the April meeting as a virtual meeting should it be necessary. These meetings are part of a four-part series to identify and prioritize the contracting challenges and value-chain opportunities ahead of the ship building and repair industries.
Omega Protein Open House

Omega Protein - Reedville Facilities
Smith Building
610 Medhaden Rd.,
Reedville, VA 22539
July 22, 2020
10:00AM - 3:30PM
All VMA members and friends are welcome!

Now in their 142nd year of continuous operation in the Commonwealth, Omega Protein’s Reedville facilities remain a key economic driver of the community and of the Northern Neck of Virginia. The facilities include fish processing and a Health and Science Center and Oil Refinery, millions of dollars of new processing equipment, innovative product storage, and significant environmental improvement initiatives that have been implemented in recent years.

Guests at this Open House will meet at Omega Protein’s newly-renovated Smith Building on the waterfront. Guests will also learn about the health and regulation of the menhaden fishery.

To register for this event, email names of attendees to  jcrowther@omegaprotein.com .
Is your business doing something amazing? Did you win an award, get featured in the news, or promote some stellar employees? Let the VMA know so we can share it on our social media platforms! We're proud of our members and we want to celebrate your successes. Email Kaitlyn Crow at kcrow@vamanufacturers.com with your submissions.