Letter from the President & CEO
Dear Members,

The Virginia General Assembly has reached "cross-over." This is half-time, where all bills must be acted upon before being sent from the House to the Senate and vice versa. Any bills that have not been voted upon, have failed or were carried over, will no longer be considered. The General Assembly passed 61% of all bills introduced last year, but it is difficult to predict if the same will be true this year. This year has proven to be the most difficult legislative session in my career because of factors ranging from leadership changes to the sheer gravity of regulatory issues impacting manufacturing such as repealing right-to-work, forced union dues payments, aboveground storage tank regulation, plastic and chemical bans, product taxes, workplace leave mandates, $15 minimum wage, electricity taxes and the most aggressive regulation of energy in Virginia's history, just to name a few.

So far, 3,235 bills have been introduced this legislative session. However, if one distills the bills down to just legislation, not including resolutions, the House introduced a record 1,734 bills and the Senate introduced 1,095 bills. This session's focus has been concentrated on 101 environmental regulation bills, 98 energy regulation bills, 78 tax bills, 61 labor/management bills and 45 general government bills. In fact, the major battles for the remainder of the session will involve energy, workplace mandates, minimum wage and public sector collective bargaining.

It would have been impossible to defeat the repeal of right-to-work, additional workplace leave mandates, and forced union dues payments without a unified and coordinated business community. The VMA is proud to have helped form the Coalition for a Strong Virginia Economy along with 23 other trade associations, which has become the leading voice against these failed policies of New York, New Jersey, Illinois and California. The Coalition will become a normal part of doing business going forward.

Speaking of innovations to the VMA's government affairs program, educating General Assembly members about the unique attributes of the manufacturing sector is essential. So we have launched the MFG Economic Impact Portal . This interactive site allows legislators to identify every economic detail of the manufacturing sector in their legislative district as well as compare one legislative district to another. Being able to show members of the General Assembly how many factories and employees are in their districts as well as how much they spend on payroll and taxes is powerful. We encourage all members to use the MFG Economic Impact Portal when communicating with elected officials.

Finally, building our political mobilization army of 1,000 manufacturing employees, retirees and supporters is how we will ensure an effective and lasting defense against over-regulation and anti-competitive legislation. We will be communicating more details about this plan in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, please watch for any Bulletin & Alert asking for your help with legislation during the remainder of this session and share these communications with your colleagues, business network and retired employees.

Let's make sure that every member of the General Assembly knows that Manufacturing Makes Virginia!

Best Wishes,

Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO
Government Affairs
VMA Day on the Hill Was a Roaring Success!
At this year's Day on the Hill, 103 members attended 32 legislative meetings to help educate legislators regarding the importance of manufacturing to the Commonwealth and lobby against bills that will impact Virginia's competitiveness.

This year's featured speaker was Doug Bassett, President of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company. Mr. Bassett shared the struggles that he and his family have had to overcome to keep everything that leaves his facility 100% American made, and how the current labor bills being heard by the General Assembly will directly impact his business and cost Virginians good-paying jobs.

Thank you to all who attended and our sponsors for helping us put on such a wonderful event!

For more pictures from the event, check out the VMA Facebook page!
Mindy and Michael Carlin Join Government Affairs Team

We're pleased to welcome Michael and Mindy Carlin, co-founders and partners of Access Point Public Affairs, LLC, to our government affairs team. With over 40 years of public affairs and communications experience, these experts will make a huge difference working on our chemistry, plastics and advanced recycling legislative agenda this session. Welcome, Michael and Mindy!
Update to FLSA's Joint Employer Regulations

The U.S. Department of Labor announced a final ruling to update the regulations interpreting joint employer status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This ruling provides a four-factor balancing test for determining FLSA joint employer status. Additionally, it clarifies when additional factors may be relevant to a determination of FLSA joint employer status.

This will help companies in guiding business partners and greatly improve the workplace. For more information on the four-factor balancing test and the full news release,  click here .
China to Cut tariffs on US Chemicals and Other Goods

China announced t hat it will halve additional tariffs on $75 billion of American products imposed late last year. This is a sign that Beijing is implementing the phase one trade deal with the United States. This tariff cut will include automotive parts, chemicals, and food. For the full story, click here .
Department of Commerce Investigation on MTB

The Department of Commerce is currently investigating potential domestic production in the 2019-2020 Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) cycle. U.S. importers submitted 3,535 petitions requesting temporary tariff reductions or suspensions on products imported into the United States. Commerce must determine whether domestic production of the product subject to an MTB petition exists and, if so, whether a producer objects to that petition.

U.S. manufacturers may review the petitions submitted or file a public complaint at the website of the U.S. International Trade Commission. If a company believes it is a producer of an identical, like, or competing product to one for which a petition was submitted, that company may be eligible to object the petition. Interested companies can learn more at Commerce’s MTB website or by contacting its MTB email address . Commerce will accept objections from U.S. producers until March 20, and findings will be published in a report from the Secretary in mid-April.
Member Benefits
February Webinar:
How the SECURE Act is Changing Retirement
Thursday, February 20
11:30AM - 12:15PM

The VMA is excited to welcome Blueprint Financial Group as one of the primary advisors for our  Retirement Solutions Program. 

Andre Boorady and Nick Hammelman will join us next month to discuss the VMA's Retirement Solution as well as how the recently promulgated  SECURE Act  will affect your retirement savings.
Business Services of the Month:
Insperity HR Services

Our partnership with Insperity will allow us to bring their world-class HR services to VMA members. This means strengthening and streamlining your business while minimizing risk and managing costs. The company offers a comprehensive suite of solutions to fit your HR needs.
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 to see what else the VMA can offer, contact Ian Ginger at iginger@vamanufacturers.com
Workforce Development
New MSI Maintenance Technician Certification! Please Take This Brief Survey
MSI hopes to understand needs for manufacturing maintenance training and qualifications for manufacturers. To assist in this goal, we need Maintenance, HR, ad Plant Managers to take this brief survey regarding your company's maintenance personnel needs. Thank you in advance for helping us gather this important information!
MFG Makes Virginia Spotlights
Global Metal Finishing Inc. 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 to Roanoke to learn about the anodizing process with VMA member Global Metal Finishing Inc., who are recognized experts in the aluminum finishing industry since 1987 and provide high quality finishing services to industries throughout the United States. The episode features the history and manufacturing process of Global Metal Finishing, Inc. and interviews with Tamea Franco (former VMA Board Member) and Ben Lawhorn. Click on Global Metal Finishing, Inc.'s logo below to view the episode.
Mack Trucks Launches Mack® MD Series Medium Duty Trucks, Invests $13 Million to Establish New Operation
Mack announced a $13 million investment to establish its Roanoke Valley Operations (RVO) manufacturing facility in the Roanoke Valley, Virginia, for the production of the all new Mack® MD Series on medium-duty trucks, with serial production to begin in 2020. The project will result in the creation of 250 new jobs. Read the full press release here .
Upcoming Events
Women's Self Defense Classes

Women in Manufacturing (WiM) Virginia and AdvanSix's SWIM Program are teaming up to offer women's self-defense classes in February.

February 18th - 5:30-7:30
February 25th - 5:30-7:30

Both course will be taught at the Hopewell Library (209 E Canson St., Hopewell, Virginia) by the Hopewell Sheriff's Office. To register for February 18th's class, click here . To register for February 25th's class, click here . Classes are open to women as well as middle and high school girls, so this is the perfect opportunity to bring your daughter or sister!
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

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

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

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

These will be held in the VMA Large Conference Room, 2104 W Laburnum Ave., Richmond, VA 23227.
Shiver in the River 2020

Saturday, February 29
Historic Tredegar in Downtown RVA

The VMA is a Gratitude Sponsor of the 6th Annual "Shiver on the River," RVA's coolest winter festival. Join the Richmond community at 10AM for a Community Cleanup, 12PM for the Shiver by the River 5K, and 1:30PM for the James River Leap.

Register for this event at  shiverintheriver.com  today! 
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.