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The Virginia Manufacturer - Focusing on Manufacturing Issues of Today and Tomorrow

Virginia Manufacturer's Association

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Upcoming VMA Events


2020 Virginia Environmental Health & Safety Conference

September 23 & 24
Hilton Richmond Hotel & Conference Center

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VOLUME 12 | Edition 9 | December 2019
Letter from the President & CEO

Dear Members:

It is hard to believe that 2020 is just a few weeks away.  The VMA has been working hard to finish the year strong and set up next year for success. In particular, we are incredibly excited about our new Employee Benefits Program, Women in MFG Chapter, expanded workforce development services, expanded professional development and conference program, and new political mobilization strategy.

Specifically, we need every member to engage their employees in political advocacy during the next General Assembly session. Our goal is to have 1,000 workers and retirees actively engaged in political advocacy. Educating members about the voting record of incumbent legislators is one of the first steps.  T he new political dynamics are going to be challenging but we have been preparing for years and work collaboratively to ensure Virginia's manufacturing competitiveness.  So, please plan on joining us at the VMA Day on the Hill to meet your legislators (2/3/20).

We are excited about the opportunities ahead.  Manufacturing is growing and creating economic opportunity across the Commonwealth.  You are key to spreading that word and thank you for assuring that Manufacturing Makes Virginia.

On behalf of the VMA Team, Happy Holidays!

Best Wishes,

Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO

Somic America Earns Environmental Excellence Award
Congratulations to Somic America, Inc. who earned the 2019 Environmental Excellence Award from the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing (SVAM) at the organization's annual October meeting. The SVAM Environmental Excellence award recognizes a manufacturer that demonstrates an exceptional commitment to sustainable operations that minimize environmental impact. 

Included in Somic America's environmental program are monthly safety and environmental audits throughout its facility and a robust recycling program overseen by the company's full time safety and environmental manager. The company has virtually eliminated landfill waste through its reduce, reuse, or recycle culture. Recycling containers are located throughout the facility for plastics, aluminum, and paper. All scrap metal and carbide produced in the manufacturing process are recycled through reputable vendors. Wooden pallets are used for fuel at a local lumber mill for the drying of local hardwood.

Notable among the company's environmental initiatives is its approach to waste stream management for the manufacture of Subaru control arm parts. In concert with Subaru's sustainability values, Somic America invested in a state of the art aluminum briquette machine that presses all coolant out of the waste aluminum chips generated in the manufacturing process and makes a solid slug of aluminum that can be transported easier than shavings in a metal bin. SAI reclaims more than 95% of the coolant from the process, filters and re-uses it. 
Chris Vaught , EH&S Manager, and  Jeff Dunnack , Plant Manager, accepted the award on behalf of Somic America.

2020 VMA Day on the Hill 

Monday, February 3
Library of Virginia
8:30AM - 12PM

The VMA works to keep industry competitive through the effective management of legislation and regulation. With the help of our members, we have achieved unmatched success in passing priority bills and defending industry. Building relationships with our elected representatives is essential to our government affairs strategy. You can demonstrate your dedication to protecting and growing manufacturing in the Commonwealth by participating in the VMA's 2020 Day on the Hill.  

Sponsorship is Key to Our Success!
Day on the Hill is only possible with the support of our sponsors. The VMA offers several sponsorship opportunities that offer a range of ways you and your company can partner with us to support this important event. Please contact Kimberly Noonan at  knoonan@vamanufacturers.com if you are interested in sponsorship at this year's event.

Attend Under Your Corporate Sponsorship
If your company is a sponsor of this event, you may be able to attend for free under their corporate sponsorship. A complete list of sponsors is on our event website.  Please contact Kimberly Noonan at knoonan@vamanufacturers.com for details.

MTM-EasyTime - Free VMA Member Access Until December 31


2019 VMA Women in Manufacturing Recognition Luncheon

The VMA recognized twenty-five women from Virginia at its annual Women in Manufacturing Recognition Luncheon on November 19 in Williamsburg, Virginia.   Award nominees were recognized for their significant contributions in the areas of Innovation & Leadership, Mentorship and Community Impact. The Women in Manufacturing┬« Association (WiM) and the VMA also announced the formation of the WiM Virginia Chapter during the luncheon.  WiM Virginia will provide professional development, mentoring, recruiting and community engagement opportunities to its members as well as support programming for this event. 

The following women were recognized at the luncheon:

Lorraine Amesbury Holder - STIHL
Kris Baum - Aleris
Dawn Beaty - Altria Client Services
Lauren Cecil - AdvanSix
Tiffany New-Courtney - AdvanSix
Cynthia Foster - Volvo Penta
Michelle Gray - AdvanSix
Cheryl Hardcastle - Newport News Shipbuilding
Elizabeth Joyner - AdvanSix
Amy Little - Newport News Shipbuilding
Carol Maffett - AdvanSix
April Maxwell - Newport News Shipbuilding
Erika Militch - AdvanSix
Elisabeth Miller - Altria Client Services
Tamika Muller - Altria Client Services
Stephanie Okamoto - AdvanSix
Theresha Taylor - Philip Morris USA
Sarah Watson - Newport News Shipbuilding
Nicole Williams - Newport News Shipbuilding

This year's keynote lunch speaker was Kristen Cavallo, CEO, The Martin Agency. Tanya Cook, VIF Board Member, led a candid discussion focused on Kristen's work around diversity inclusion, eradicating the gender wage gap, and juggling the demands of being a CEO while raising a family. 

If you are interested in learning more about WiM Virginia, please email Kimberly Noonan at  knoonan@vamanufacturers.com . Help us celebrate women in manufacturing and support our goal of building the next generation of leaders that will assure the competitiveness of Virginia's 6,000 manufacturers. 

New VMA Business Service: Tax Credit Recovery
The VMA is excited to announce the addition of Vrain to our business services program. Our partnership with Vrain will allow companies to maximize the benefits of local, state, and federal economic development programs. 

Vrain is a nationwide provider of site selection, tax credits, incentive negotiation and compliance, with a current
combined client portfolio of over $2 Billion in incentives generated. The company's core services for VMA members will include, 1. analyzing member facilities to determine eligibility for a wide array of economic development programs, 2. reviewing tax credit opportunities using Vrain's tax credit database, and 3. implementing the Federal Work Opportunity Program (WOTC), which  will generate federal tax credits up to $2,400 per eligible employee hired. 

If you are planning new capital expenditures including new or remodeled facilities, relocation, consolidation,
job expansions or just hiring new employees due to regular turnover, Vrain can help lower your cost of doing

Contact Ian Ginger at iginger@vamanufacturers.com with any questions. 

VMA Insurance Services: Earn up to 40% Back on Premiums through VMA P&C Program
The VMA Insurance Program is exclusively for VMA members. It not only provides pricing discounts but also allows members to earn up to forty percent back on those insurance premiums. Leverage the power of group buying and enjoy program features previously only available to larger manufacturing operations.

If you have questions or would like to speak with an agent, contact Bankers Insurance at VMA@bankersinsurance.net, (804) 253-1581, or visit www.bankersinsurance.net/vma.

MSI New Product Announcement: STEM Career Adventure and Career Explorer website



MSI is excited to announce a new 1-day STEM Career Adventure in 2020. This program allows manufacturers to open their doors to area youth, strengthening community ties and further developing the workforce pipeline. During this 6-8 hours career adventure program, students will experience a fast paced, interactive set of progressively difficult learning modules that provide participants opportunities to gain an understanding of advanced manufacturing. They will develop soft and transferable skills related to manufacturing jobs, and use the MSI CareerExplorer website to build a career hub that includes self-inventories and manufacturing job information relevant to education, training and job searches in their area. 


For more information regarding this program and to learn more about the MSI Career Explorer website, please contact Melissa Gordon.