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

Virginia Manufacturer's Association

In This Issue

Upcoming VMA Events

Don't miss out on these upcoming opportunities:

Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI) 9th Annual Workforce Solutions Symposium

August 6
Talley Workforce Center,
John Tyler Community College - Chester Campus

Virginia Environmental Health & Safety Conference

September 23 & 24
Hilton Richmond Hotel & Conference Center

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VOLUME 1 | Edition 10 | January 2020
Letter from the President & CEO

Dear Members:

The 2020 General Assembly is off to a rocky start.  In addition to a record number of bills, the shuffle of new leaders has delayed some committee activities by nearly 10 days.  So, there will be a scramble in the coming weeks to make up the time lost. This all adds to the natural tension anytime there is a change in power.  Meanwhile, the VMA has already identified nearly 500 bills that affect industrial businesses.

We began preparing for this change some time ago.  We have put several new resources in place to help educate the new leadership about manufacturing priorities and advocate for public policies that ensure Virginia's economic competitiveness. We have distributed the new Virginia MFG Competitiveness Plan to the entire General Assembly. This is the product of a year of work by all VMA Committees and our Board of Directors.  This is also supported by our new MFG Competitiveness Index where we can clearly demonstrate to legislators how Virginia ranks against other states.

However, in today's social media environment, pictures are truly worth a thousand words.  So, we have produced an entirely new type of advocacy tool to show legislators the economic impact that manufacturers have on their individual legislative districts.  The VMA MFG Economic Impact Portal is an interactive visualization tool that even allows legislators to compare their district to another over time.  It provides tax information, employment, wages and the number of establishments in each district.  It's a powerful tool and we encourage all members to share it with their professional network and encourage their legislators to visit.

We have also entirely changed the way we communicate with members about the bills we are working.  The new system provides much more detail on these bills and we encourage members to review them here and give us feedback.  Members may also reach all these tools at the VMA website through our new "Advocacy" menu.

Finally, since this session has already proven to be one of the most anti-business sessions in recent history, the VMA, NFIB, Retail Federation and 19 other trade associations organized the Coalition for a Strong Virginia Economy to speak with a united and single voice against efforts to repeal the right-to-work, establish a $15 hour minimum wage, create new mandatory employee leave regulations, and a number of other issues.  For more information, please see the article below.

In closing, the new General Assembly leadership has an opportunity to temper the enthusiasm of its newly elected majority.  If they cannot, Virginia will assuredly lose its elite business ranking and move ever closer to a Maryland, New York, Illinois and California business environment.  It's our heavy burden to showcase the failures of these states in retaining and growing their manufacturing sector while building productive relationships.  We need members to be prepared for intense political challenges that require the engagement of your employees and retirees.

Thank you for supporting the VMA.  We look forward to seeing you on February 3rd at the VMA Day on the Hill.

Best Wishes,

Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO

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.

WiM-Virginia Kickoff Meeting - February 3 @ Southern Railway Taphouse
Earlier this year, the VMA and the Women in Manufacturing┬« Association (WiM) announced the formation of a WiM Virginia Chapter.   The WiM Virginia Chapter will provide professional development, mentoring, recruiting and community leadership to its membership, as well as opportunities for leadership recognition. This new organization will be led by the WiM Virginia Leadership Council consisting of the following team: 
  • Chair - Jordan Oligmueller, AdvanSix 
  • Vice Chair - Brenda Clarke, ITAC 
  • Recruiting & Outreach Team Leader - Tiffany New-Courtney, AdvanSix 
  • Professional Development Team Leader - Kerry McAvoy, One Environmental Group 
  • Senior Program Advisor - Tanya Cook, Virginia Industry Foundation (VIF) 
  • Management and Finance Team - Kimberly Noonan, Kelly Stevens (VMA)
VMA members are invited to attend a Kickoff Meeting at Southern Railway Taphouse on 2/3 from 5-6pm to learn about WiM and the Chapter's initiatives.  Check out our WiM Virginia Promotional video and footage from the VMA Women in MFG Recognition Luncheon.     

Following the meeting, you are also encouraged to stick around for the Craft Beer Legislative Caucus from 6:30-8:30, which includes complimentary food and craft beer.  We hope to see you there!

Announcing the Coalition for a Strong Virginia Economy

On January 15th, VMA President Brett Vassey spoke at a press conference announcing the formation of the Coalition for a Strong Virginia Economy. In times like these, when proposed legislation threatens Virginia's competitiveness, the VMA is proud to be a member of this coalition. Made up of over 21 business trade associations, the Coalition for a Strong Virginia Economy aims to educate lawmakers on the reality behind mandated minimum wage, employee benefits requirements, and threats to Virginia's "Right-to-Work" statute.

For more information on the Coalition for a Strong Virginia Economy, click here to check out the Coalition website.

VMA Ancillary Benefits Plan
VMA Employee Benefits Plan


The VMA has partnered with McGriff Insurance Services and Anthem to offer members an employee benefits plan that includes the following lines of coverage:
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Life/Disability
  • Consumer
Participating members will also receive several innovative solutions, including simplified administration, data analytics and consolidated billing, among others. McGriff also offers in-house resources to help members get the most out of their benefits.

Our benefits program will allow  employers to improve their competitive position, reduce costs and automate benefits.

For additional information, please contact Ian Ginger at (804) 709-1325 or iginger@vamanufacturers.com

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.

Professional Development Opportunity: Strategic Sales Management
Darden Executive Education's Strategic Sales Management Program is a 4-day in-person program with a focus on sales and marketing from February 25-February 28 in the Washington, D.C., area. The normal cost of the program is $6,950, but four tickets are being offered to  VMA members for free. All participants have to do is cover hotel costs!

Don't miss out on this fantastic professional development opportunity. For more information, check out this link.

If you're interested in participating, contact Rebecca Yancy at yanceyr@darden.virginia.edu.

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!