Letter from the President & CEO
Dear Members,

The Virginia General Assembly was convened for its second Special Session this year for the express purpose of considering how to spend $4.3 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money and electing eight new judges to the Virginia Court of Appeals.

The US Department of Treasury described the use of state and local ARPA funds as follows:

The Rescue Plan will provide needed relief to state, local, and Tribal governments to enable them to continue to support the public health response and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable economic recovery. In addition to helping these governments address the revenue losses they have experienced as a result of the crisis, it will help them cover the costs incurred due responding to the public health emergency and provide support for a recovery – including through assistance to households, small businesses and nonprofits, aid to impacted industries, and support for essential workers. It will also provide resources for state, local, and Tribal governments to invest in infrastructure, including water, sewer, and broadband services.

The House and Senate could not reach an agreement on joint procedural rules. As such, each body operated under its own rules. The House and Senate appointed a budget Conference Committee of eleven (11) Democrats and three (3) Republicans to negotiate final amendments to Governor Northam’s proposed budget. This was highly unusual because generally the House and Senate follow proportional representation with committee assignments including the budget process. However, Governor Northam and the Democrat Majority leadership established early in the process that they would not accept amendments to the Governor's $4.3 billion budget.

For a detailed list of key budget amendments and items, click here. Some of the highlights include the following:
  • $862+ million for Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund;
  • $700 million for Broadband funding;
  • $250 million for K-12 school HVAC ventilation systems;
  • $100+ million for University funding to low-income students with no performance requirements;
  • $761 million unprogrammed for future spending;
  • $25 million for the Portsmouth Terminal to ship heavy offshore wind components;
  • $6+ million for public monuments construction;
  • $3 million to the Department of Elections (132) to support local efforts to expand early voting to include the adoption of Sunday voting;
  • $2.5 million for “gun violence reduction projects;”
  • $1.5 million to the Department of Elections (132) for voter education efforts to inform voters about new elections laws and to combat misinformation about Virginia elections;
  • $1 million for hiking trails at a Fairfax County park;
  • $529K to the Department of Military Affairs (123) for Infrared Body Temperature Scanning equipment and personal protective equipment;
  • $500K to the Office of the Governor (121), Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, for language access translation planning consulting services;
  • Revisions to the Virginia Overtime Wage Act; and
  • 12.5% Medicaid rate increase for providers of services to people with developmental and intellectual disabilities;
  • Sheriff’s deputies and corrections officers will receive bonuses of $3,000, while state police will receive $5,000; and
  • Allow student athletes to be compensated.
 So, what’s missing?
  • Full funding of Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. Estimates are that it would take $1.3 billion to fully fund liabilities to avoid quadrupling of employer tax in 2022. The VMA and the Coalition for a Strong Virginia Economy lobbied for this amendment.
  • PPE State Procurement Amendment requiring state agencies to procure PPE that complies with FDA testing or is Virginia and/or American Made – 21300191A (Page 48) – Senator DeSteph https://lis.virginia.gov/000/SenateBudgetFloorAmendments.pdf. The VMA lobbied for this amendment.
  • “Safe Harbor” language protecting employers from COVID-19 enforcement actions if making a good faith effort to comply with CDC Guidance. The VMA and the Coalition for a Strong Virginia Economy lobbied for this amendment.
  • Infrastructure funding beyond broadband (e.g., wastewater, recycling, solid waste).
In summary, the Special Session was rushed and conducted by the Majority party with no deliberation in the House and minimal deliberation in the Senate. It is unthinkable in the private sector that $4.3 billion would be appropriated without transparency and broad public participation, but the Virginia General Assembly did conclude its work on the revised budget HB 7001. The final Senate vote was 23-16 and the House vote was 78-20 to approve the Budget Conference Committee report.

It is the hope of many that the remaining unappropriated balance of funds, as well as the state revenue surplus, are considered more deliberately and with greater transparency in the 2022 legislative session. Please share your ideas of how the remaining ARPA funds and tax surplus revenue should be invested by September 15.

Best Wishes,


Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO
New Publication: 2020-2021 Virginia Legislative Competitiveness Scorecard
VMAPAC published its 2020-2021 Virginia Legislative Competitiveness Scorecard.

This document counts Virginia General Assembly vote scores on 56 bills in 2020 and 45 bills in 2021. Legislators are given credit for voting for the VMA position and penalized for voting against it. All legislators scoring 70% (C Grade) or better are honored with the VMAPAC Manufacturing Competitiveness Certificate. The recipients of the top 3 scores in the Senate and House of Delegates are honored with the VMAPAC Industrial Strength Leadership Award (pictured here) to recognize their exemplary commitment to Virginia's manufacturing competitiveness.

Congratulations to the following legislators who were awarded the 2021 VMAPAC Industrial Strength Leadership Award:

  • Travis Hackworth
  • Mark Peake
  • Amanda Chase
  • John Cosgrove Jr.
  • Siobhan Dunnavant
  • Jen Kiggans
  • Ryan McDougle

  • Carrie Coyner
  • Joe McNamara
  • Buddy Fowler Jr.
  • Lee Ware
  • Rob Bloxom Jr.
  • Glenn Davis Jr.
  • Chris Runion
To view the VMAPAC Manufacturing Competitiveness Certificate recipients, see the bills scored, and view the vote score of all members of the Virginia General Assembly, click below. The VMAPAC encourages all VMA members to "Support Those That Support Us" this election. The goal is to raise $100,000 for top candidates this year. To contribute $50 or $50,000, contact Brett Vassey.
Government Affairs - State & Federal Highlights
VA Senate C-19 Regulation
COVID-19 Final Permanent Standard §16VAC25-220 Update

The Virginia Safety & Health Codes Board held a public hearing regarding the Adopted Proposed Amendments to the FPS on August 5, 2021. The Virginia Business Coalition submitted written testimony to the Board on July 30th. The VMA testified before the Board and submitted written testimony, which you can view here.

More information about the August 5th public hearing can be found on The Department of Labor & Industry (VDOLI) webpage dedicated to the Proposed Amendments to the Final Permanent Standard (FPS) for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus, 16VAC25-220 (click here https://www.doli.virginia.gov/proposed-changes-to-fps/). The VDOLI webpage includes links to:
  • Proposed Amendments as adopted by the Board on June 29, 2021
  • Summary of Governor Northam’s Review of Proposed Amendments to 16VAC25-220, 7/1/2021
  • Video recording of the public hearing

In an ironic twist, it is likely that the COVID-19 risk mitigation employed in the Senate of Virginia during the latest Special Session does not comply with the specific requirements of 16VAC25-220 (see the photo of the plexiglass boxes and proximity to each other above).

Heat Illness Prevention Standard

The stated intent of the regulatory action is to reduce/eliminate employee injuries, illnesses, and fatalities due to exposure to excessive heat at indoor and outdoor places of work. Goals for the regulation would include identifying methods to reduce or eliminate heat illness hazards; and educating employees and employers about heat-related illness external risk factors, heat-related illness internal risk factors, medical conditions that can contribute to heat illness, symptoms of heat-related illness, and precautions to take to reduce or eliminate heat illness hazards.

Data has shown less than 11 heat related illnesses in 22 years. But, the process has revealed that this is another "national model" workplace regulation initiated by organized labor and supported by the Northam Administration. Advocates are attempting to mirror regulations in California, Oregon, and Washington. Some proposals have suggested 15 minute breaks every hour during specific high temperatures.

The Virginia Department of Labor & Industry has appointed a Regulatory Advisory Panel to assist the Safety & Health Codes Board in the development of the final standard. The VMA has three (3) members appointed to the panel. Their first meeting was August 11. Details on the panel presentations and status of the standard are available here. No economic impact assessment has been conducted. Alternatives to the proposed standard may be discussed by the panel.

The most comprehensive comments to date have been filed by Celanese. See comments here.

Other Regulations

The VMA is participating in more regulatory actions this year than in the last decade. A few others include:
  • Executive Order 77 - Single Use Plastic and Polystyrene Packaging Ban, Secretary of Natural Resources Office
  • Advanced Recycling Stakeholder Advisory Group, DEQ
  • Nonhazardous Solid Waste Fee Study Working Group, DEQ
  • Numeric Turbidity Criteria Development, Regulatory Advisory Panel, DEQ
  • PFAS Workgroup, DEQ
  • Plastic Waste Prevention Advisory Council, DEQ
  • Site Suitability, Regulatory Advisory Panel, DEQ
  • State Water Resources Plan, Regulatory Advisory Panel, DEQ
  • Waste Diversion & Recycling Task Force, DEQ
  • Water Withdrawal Annual Fee Work Group, DEQ
Governor's Appointment News

  • Dr. Dawit Haile* of Chester, Dean, College of Engineering and Technology, Virginia State University (reappointed)
  • Lorraine Amesbury Holder of Virginia Beach, Vice President of Operations, STIHL Inc.
  • Jill B. Loope of Roanoke, Director of Economic Development, Roanoke County
  • Brett A. Vassey* of Chesterfield, President and CEO, Virginia Manufacturers Association (reappointed)

You can view all of Governor Northam's recent appointments here.
Federal Update: National Labor Relations Board Nominees

Thanks to the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace for this update.

On July 28th, the Senate confirmed President Biden’s two nominees to the National Labor Relations Board - Gwynne Wilcox and David Prouty. CDW opposed both nominees, and their statement can be read here.

Wilcox, a union attorney, was approved with a vote of 52-47. All Senate Democrats along with Republicans Collins (ME) and Murkowski (AK) voted to confirm her. Wilcox will immediately join the Board, filling the currently vacant Democrat seat and bringing the Board to a 3-2 Republican majority.

Prouty, general counsel for a large SEIU local, was approved 53-46. All Democrats and Republicans Collins, Murkowski, and Sullivan (AK) voted to confirm him. Prouty will join the Board at the end of August, when Republican member William Emanuel’s term expires.

Once Prouty takes his seat, the Board will have a 3-2 Democrat majority. There will likely be a dramatic change in policy out of the Board at that time. As Democratic Chair Lauren McFerran stated, she believed the Trump NLRB appointees took too narrow an approach to labor law, and that the law "as it is written now should correctly be read far more broadly in a variety of ways."
Upcoming Conferences & Events
Lunch 'n Learn Webinar: Recovering from a Cyber Attack: Prepare Now to Protect Your Business

August 31 | 11:30AM - 12:30PM

Are you ready for a ransomware attack? A cybersecurity incident can deal a crippling blow to your operations and even threaten the future of your business. In this live presentation, you’ll learn about the tools, procedures, and partnerships that you can put in place now to protect your business from today’s cyber threats.
Presented by Ian MacRae, CEO, E-N Computers, Inc. More than 50 Virginia businesses trust E-N Computers to manage and protect their critical technology infrastructure. Ian is the founder and CEO, with nearly 24 years of experience helping businesses leverage IT to modernize their operations, including some of the Commonwealth’s top manufacturing innovators.
2021 Virginia Environmental Health & Safety Conference | September 21-23

Join us for the VMA’s premiere event of the year, where Virginia industry environmental leaders, regulators, legislators and allies join together for sharing information, best practices and technology. Participants also explore the affordability and sustainability of regulations on the Virginia economy. The 2021 VEHS Conference will be held virtually on Tuesday, September 21st through Thursday, September 23rd, with an in-person networking event on the evening of September 23rd at Triple Crossing Beer (Fulton location).
Save the Date: Virginia MFG Competitiveness Forum & WiM Virginia Leadership Conference | November 16-17, 2021

Join Virginia’s top manufacturing executives, industry leaders and service providers to the manufacturing industry, to learn about best-practices, technologies and solutions that drive Virginia’s manufacturing competitiveness in five major areas: Business Climate, Workforce, Innovation, Infrastructure and Economic Strength.
Virginia's MFG Competitiveness State Ranking

Presented by Forum Keynote Speaker: Ted Abernathy, Economic Leadership LLC

Ted Abernathy will unveil the 2021 VA MFG Competitiveness Index results, as well as compare and contrast Virginia to southern and northeastern/Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) states.
Manufacturing Skills Institute
Manufacturing Skills Institute Safety Program

Each year, more than 4,000,000 people in the United States suffer a workplace injury or occupational illness. MSI has a robust safety program aimed at preventing these injuries.

The Industrial Safety Readiness Training (ISRT) program provides the core concepts of safety awareness for industrial workplace training, and an individualized learning plan that addresses the most common hazardous situations faced in the industrial environment. The ISRT goal is to contribute to a reduction in workforce injuries and a higher degree of liability control.
Watch this video to hear from SW Funk Industrial Contractors about how they have incorporate ISRT into their training and support their "brother's keeper" culture.

SW Funk won the 2020 Chairman's Safety Award. This distinction is awarded each year to a business that exemplifies the highest level of safety commitment and performance.
Women in Manufacturing (WiM) Virginia Chapter
WiM National Program: Empowering Women in Production

First cohort launches September 13, 2021 - Register Now to Save Your Seat!

The Empowering Women in Production program is designed to support the professional development of production or shop-floor employees. Employees in production settings often have tremendous insight into the culture, products, and processes that manufacturing companies need to innovate.

This program is designed to support the professional development of employees in production or shop-floor role at manufacturing companies, to make their next promotion more likely, more quickly. The goal of the program is to impart core professional skills for success in manufacturing environments.

Since production occurs at different times, and demands can change at a moment’s notice, this program has a virtual, asynchronous approach. The total program duration is approximately 20 weeks. During the course of the learning, participants will not only learn from subject matter experts, but also from coaches and their peers within the cohort.
Want to learn more about the full suite of professional development opportunities available through WiM, including our Leadership Consortium, Leadership Institute For Women in STEM and Manufacturing, and MDP - Management Development Program? Learn more here or contact Kimberly Noonan at knoonan@vamanufacturers.com.
Member Benefits
Business Services of the Month

Crystal Clean Industrial Waste Disposal Services, Parts Cleaning, and COVID-19 Sanitation Discount Program

Our industrial waste and parts cleaning discount program with Heritage Crystal Clean is one of our longest standing business services.

Not only can members receive significant discounts on all your environmental needs including part cleaning, drum waste disposal, absorbent, aqueous filtration, used oil collection, and vacuum services, Crystal Clean also offer members a new COVID-19 Sanitation Program.

To learn more about the Industrial Waste Disposal Services, Parts Cleaning, and COVID-19 Sanitation Discounts from Heritage Crystal Clean, contact Member Services Coordinator Kate Kapottos.

VMA Perks Program

Doing some back-to-school shopping? Check out the voluntary, free, and cost-savings value of VMA's Perks Program, which can help you save even more money on top of back to school sales!
Corporate Shopping connects VMA members to over 250 top national retailers offering incredible employee discounts and private offers.

A few popular retailers include: Target, Lands’ End, Costco, Ralph Lauren, Orbitz, Hotels.com, J.Crew, Brooks Brothers, 1800Flowers, ProFlowers, Shoes.com, Avis, Hertz, Budget, HP Employee Purchase Program, Dell Member Purchase Program & more!

Click here to register.
TicketsatWork offers exclusive discounts, offers, access to preferred seating & many other special perks for thousands of products. This program is available to all VMA members, and it only takes 2 minutes to sign up!

  1. Click Here
  2. Fill out the information to become a member using your work or personal email address.
  3. Use the exclusive VMA Company Code – VMA2017
VMA members can save on more than 30,000 office supplies through the Office Depot Partner Program.

Shop in any Office Depot or OfficeMax store and receive your member pricing. Just show them your Store Purchasing Card at checkout and watch the savings stack up! You can print a copy of your card or text “VMACard” to 844-446-6358 to get the Store Purchasing Card sent to your phone. You must present this at checkout to receive your discount.
Come Work for the VMA!
Have you ever thought about working for us? We're hiring a Sales Director!

The Sales Director is responsible for growing sales and increasing revenue across VMA business units, programs, and affiliates. Responsibilities include anticipating and planning for future market opportunities; developing strategies and tactics to meet monthly, quarterly, and annual sales and revenue targets; managing and closing revenue opportunities efficiently; retaining and growing member relationships at mid to senior levels; and communicating consistently.

The ideal candidate is an entrepreneurial professional with initiative - someone who can deliver consistent results independently. This role requires organization, enthusiasm, commitment, and team work to succeed. If you think you know someone suited for this role, send them our way!