Letter from the President & CEO
CTCT-20170704_083856_1
Dear Members,

We have now passed crossover and are looking toward the end of the Virginia General Assembly “short” session (46 days) on February 27. Now that we have passed "Crossover," we are focused on 112 remaining priority bills, defensive priority bills, and monitored bills out of the 1,549 total bills introduced this session - see the VMA 2021 Legislative Crossover Report for details.

The House of Delegates broke 402 years of tradition and convened via virtual hearings and meetings only. The Senate still meets in person, under strict safety conditions at the Virginia Science Museum with no public access. The Virginia General Assembly’s office building is also closed to the public. However, Senator Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) filed a lawsuit challenging the decision to close the General Assembly’s office building and four conference rooms in an office building adjacent to the Virginia Science Museum are now available for appointments with constituents. Regardless, Committee and Subcommittee meetings in both chambers are notably truncated (usually limiting testimony to 2 minutes), and in some cases allowing no public testimony. Our democratic values of transparency, accessibility, equity, and deliberation have been diminished.

A bright spot in the 2021 General Assembly session is that Delegates were limited to seven (7) bills each and Senators were limited to twelve (12) each. This curbed the proliferation of legislation that reached a record-high of 3,911 bills in the 2020 Regular Session and 488 in the 2020 Special Session. The Governor has already called a 2021 Special Session to extend the constitutional 30 day session to 46 days, but the executive order does not have a concluding date. It is our hope that the General Assembly concludes its work on February 27, but it is also possible that the leadership may extend the session like last year. This is also an election year, with all statewide offices and the House of Delegates up for election, so it is possible that a prolonged special session could be possible.

The new Democrat House and Senate majorities continue to expand upon a political agenda focused on environmental justice; diversity and inclusion; new air, water and waste environmental regulations; renewable energy; bans on hydrocarbon-based fuels, energy, infrastructure, and electric generation; fee and tax increases; expanding cause of action liabilities against employers; mandatory paid family leave; organized labor expansion; gambling; marijuana legalization; chemical and plastic product bans; banning internal combustion engines for transportation; establishing a public tax scheme to fund rebates for $55,000 electric vehicles; directing electric utilities to charge all customers for electric vehicle recharging facility infrastructure; and ending the death penalty. Breaking through this wall of legislation with our priorities has been exceedingly difficult due to the inaccessibility of legislators. Regardless, 70% of the VMA’s priority bills have passed and 42% of the VMA’s defensive priority targets have failed.

We must give credit for these early successes to our priority bill patrons and leaders: Senators Bill DeSteph, Emmett Hanger, Todd Pillion, Dick Saslaw; and Delegates Lashrecse Aird, John Avoli, David Bulova, Kathy Byron, Ken Plum, Luke Torian, Lee Ware; and Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn. We also must recognize the significant contributions of our peer organizations such as the Coalition for a Strong Virginia Economy (still the largest trade association coalition in Virginia with 34 leading trade associations), the Coalition for Consumer Choices, and the American Chemistry Council. We will continue to use our new advocacy tools, such as the VA MFG Economic Impact Portal, the VA MFG Competitiveness Plan, and the VA MFG Competitiveness Index, to educate the new leaders of the Virginia General Assembly.

We will not abandon our vision of making Virginia one of the most competitive states in the U.S. to manufacture world-class products. It is more important than ever that every member engage their employees and supply-chain partners to join us in fighting for the Commonwealth’s competitiveness.

Your voice matters, so please join us today in letting the Virginia General Assembly know that Manufacturing Makes Virginia!


Best Wishes,

Brett

Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO
Government Affairs
Weekly All Member Meeting - Government Affairs

The VMA is hosting weekly member calls during this year’s General Assembly Session each Monday from 11:30am - 12:30pm. These meetings are an opportunity to discuss important bills that impact industry, and are for “VMA Members Only.” Meetings will take place through the end of February, with our 2021 Virtual Town Hall Series kicking off on March 1. Town Hall Meetings will take place each Monday in March using the same meeting login below. The first Town Hall will include a Government Affairs Wrap Up Session.

Microsoft Teams meeting
Join on your computer or mobile app

Please contact knoonan@vamanufacturers.com with questions.

VMA 2021 Crossover Report

Crossover” marks the halfway point of the legislative session. This deadline dictates that each chamber must complete work on its own bills, except for the budget, and begin to consider only those bills “crossing over” from the other chamber. That milestone was reached on Friday, February 5th.
Upcoming Conferences & Events
March 1: Government Affairs Wrap-Up & COVID-19 Update
  • Join the VMA for a wrap-up of the 2021 General Assembly legislative session presented by VMA President & CEO Brett Vassey. We will also discuss COVID-19 updates, including information on the permanent COVID-19 regulation and Phase 1B vaccine news.

March 8: International Women's Day Celebration
  • Celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th with the VMA and WiM-Virginia! Program highlights will include the WiM-VA Mentoring Program, WiM-VA/MSI Virtual Learning Center, Women and Welding Project, as well as a WiM National Women’s Hall of Fame Award Program and Virtual Career Fair.

March 15: Market Research Opportunities and the Competitive Advantage
  • Market research can be an invaluable tool to help companies find customers for their business. Guests from SBDC and VEDP will share upcoming market research opportunities open to VMA members that can give members a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

March 22: Virtual Supply Chain Sourcing Opportunities & Group Metals Purchasing Program
  • COVID-19 will continue to restrict “in person” meetings and trade shows in 2021. The VMA is dedicated to expanding supply chain opportunities across the Commonwealth.  In 2020, the VMA launched VMAConnections a cloud based Service Provider Sourcing Center. VMA will announce two new opportunities in 2021 regarding a virtual supply chain event and new group metals purchasing program with Sparks Material Sourcing, LLC.

March 29: “Taxaginia” – What You Need to Know!
  • At the end of March, the General Assembly will have recessed and Governor Northam will be signing legislation that could significantly impact your business. Do you want to know all the new taxes and fees the Virginia General Assembly passed this year? Join us for our final 2021 Virtual Town Hall to find out why the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy’s Stephen Haner has labeled the Commonwealth as “Taxaginia.”

Use the login below to dial in to our 2021 Manufacturing Makes Virginia Virtual Town Hall Series.

Microsoft Teams meeting
Join on your computer or mobile app

Please contact knoonan@vamanufacturers.com with questions.
VEDP International Sales Training Webinar Series

Parts 2 & 3 - February 18 & 25 (10:00am - 11:00am)

The final two installments of VEDP's 3-part webinar training series on sales and communications is designed to help you perfect your virtual presentation, communication, and sales pitch skills. Remaining topics are Persuasive Communication (2/18) and Perfecting Your Value Proposition (2/25).
Women in Manufacturing (WiM)
Women in Welding Focus Groups

March 10 (11:30am - 1:00pm) and March 17 (9:30am - 11:00am)

WiM-Virginia is partnering with NSRP to host a series of focus groups to study methods for increasing recruitment of women welders in industry. Focus group participants will discuss and explore:
  • reasons why women are reluctant to join the welding trade
  • current recruitment targeting women and young females
  • existing training programs specific to women.

The goal of this project is to study the issues in the welding labor market facing women, and how to tailor recruitment and training efforts to increase the number of women who are hired and trained in the welding field. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to share your thoughts!
WiM-Virginia is now on LinkedIn! Give us a follow to stay up-to-date with our programming: Women in Manufacturing Virginia
Workforce Solutions
Workshop: What You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Final Permanent Standard

February 24, 2021 | 11:30am – 2:30pm

Participants will learn the VA COVID-19 FPS mandates, employee training mandates, how to prepare an Infectious Disease Preparedness & Response Plan, Hazard/Exposure Assessment, and How to Assess Risk Levels. This webinar will be instructor-led by David Crawford. The price per participant is $249.
Member Benefits
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. Contact our team at memberservices@vamanufacturers.com for more information.
Vrain - Tax Credit Recovery Specialists

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.

It's more important than ever to cut costs and ensure that your business can save the most money possible. With Vrain as a valuable part of the VMA's Member Benefits portfolio, you can get assistance with securing the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), in addition to procuring other Federal, State and Local Economic Development incentives. Learn more here and contact Tracy Tate to find out how Vrain can help you lower the cost of doing business.
Associate Member Spotlight
As an extension of VMAConnections: a B2B Service Provider Sourcing Center, the VMA features up to three Associate Members who support and supply services to Virginia manufacturers. Give these great Associates a click or two or three!
For a chance to see your company spotlighted here or to share resources, contact Kaitlyn Crow.
EHS&S News
Hazardous Waste Small Quantity Generator Re-Notification Required

Are you a small quantity generator (SQG) of hazardous waste (i.e., a generator of between 100 and 1,000 kg -- 220 and 2,200 lbs -- of non-acute hazardous waste per month)? 

SQGs in Virginia are now required to re-notify of hazardous waste activity every four years. To remain in compliance with the re-notification requirement, you must update your notification by completing and submitting the Notification of RCRA Subtitle C Activities (Site Identification Form), also known as EPA Form 8700-12.
 
The first re-notification is due by Sept. 1, 2021. Read More >>>
Biden Administration Could Quickly Adopt Environmental Enforcement Policy Changes

by Carrick C. Brooke-Davidson | Originally published by Williams Mullen

Federal environmental policies are likely to undergo significant changes at DOJ and EPA under the Biden administration, including alteration of many Trump administration enforcement policies. Since many of these existing policies are not regulations, it likely will not be difficult for the incoming administration to reverse or alter them. For policies that have been adopted as regulations, any attempt to alter them will have to be done using the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). For policies that have been issued as guidance or internal agency requirements, they can be altered with the stroke of a pen. Discussed here are some of the environmental enforcement-related policy changes that can be anticipated from the Biden administration. Read More >>>
COVID-19 News
Virginia Launches Central Pre-Registration Website for COVID-19 Vaccine

Vaccinate.Virginia.gov and Statewide hotline are live!

RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Health today launched a new, centralized website that allows Virginians to easily pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine. This ‘one-stop-shop’ website allows individuals to pre-register online, check that they are pre-registered, and access additional information on Virginia’s vaccination roll-out. Read More >>>