Letter from the President & CEO
Dear Members,

You play a crucial role in strengthening Virginia’s manufacturing sector, improving manufacturing competitiveness, and ensuring that the Virginia General Assembly avoids the failed public policies of states like California, Illinois, and New York. Since 1922, the VMA has been Industry Advocate™ and your active engagement in the VMA and the Virginia General Assembly will ensure our success in 2021.
Through its four core services - Government Affairs, Workforce Solutions, Professional Development and Networking, and Member Benefits - the VMA helps improve our members’ productivity, profitability and competitiveness. This year, the VMA has substantially expanded its member benefits program to help our small and medium size manufacturers make money and save money. This will include a new Group Purchasing Program for metals; new services from our FCCI Property & Casualty Insurance Dividend Program; new services from the VMA-McGriff Group Benefits Program; expanded programming from our Women in MFG (WiM) program; and 40 new training modules from our Manufacturing Skills Institute.

The VMA’s principal role is advocating for or against manufacturing-related regulation and legislation. Over the last decade, we have produced over one-hundred million dollars in economic benefits and helped manufacturers avoid nearly a billion dollars in new regulatory costs. But, this job is getting more difficult every year and Virginia’s manufacturing competitiveness is slipping away – Virginia now ranks #11 in the U.S. 

We will be launching a new grass roots political mobilization campaign to build a social media “MFG Army” of retirees and member employees that will engage in the fight to protect the right-to-work, keep energy affordable and reliable, maintain regulatory balance, keep taxes low, and close the gender and skills gaps in the workforce. We are starting by giving every member of the VA General Assembly our VA MFG Competitiveness Plan and access to the VMA’s MFG Economic Impact Portal. This year the VMA Board of Directors also approved the formation of the VMA Legal Institute to ensure that we can defend our members in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government.
The VMA is structured to serve members as an extension of your companies. This unique value proposition allows us to offer services ranging from insurance to workforce skills training to supplier sourcing to professional development and field a world-class government affairs program. 

We have major challenges ahead, but we are prepared because of your continued investments in the VMA. Thank you.

Best Wishes,


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.  
Virginia Business Roundtable on Environmental Justice (V-BREJ)

Troutman Pepper (legal contractor for the VMA Water Subcommittee) is forming the Virginia Business Roundtable on Environmental Justice (V-BREJ). This group will consist of representatives across the regulated community to track environmental justice developments and collaborate on a strategy to participate in this space. Initially the activities of the group will be focused on tracking, monitoring and development of collective strategies. This will not supplant the work of VMA, but rather will complement it and ensure that the regulated community is delivering a consistent message. We will also be collaborating on how to ensure that there is greater representation of the regulated community on the various councils and stakeholder groups that are formed to address environmental justice.

If any VMA members are interested in joining this effort, please contact Andrea Wortzel at andrea.wortzel@troutman.com.
Upcoming Conferences & Events
Webinar: Auditing EHS Audit Programs - What's It All About?

Thursday, January 28 (12:00pm - 1:00pm)

Presented by: Dr. Mike Green & Jon Nagy of Environmental Standards, Inc.

A well developed and executed environmental, health, and safety (EHS) audit program provides essential assurance services for a company. Among other critical elements, a periodic external review of the audit program is a leading practice (some audit programs actually have a requirement for a periodic external audit). Surveys have shown, however, that most EHS audit programs and their sponsoring executives do not have extensive experience with these highly valuable reviews.

This presentation will cover the principal reasons for conducting periodic evaluations of an EHS audit program (including the expected benefits), how the evaluations can be conducted, and what standards are suitable as the basis for the review. We will also cover how review results can be reported and offer considerations for how companies can respond to identified opportunities for improvements and related observations in a manner that will lead to value-added enhancements of EHS audit program effectiveness and efficiency.
Lunch 'n Learn Webinar: Root Cause Analysis vs. Shallow Cause Analysis: What's the Difference?

Thursday, February 11 (11:30am - 12:30pm)

While Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is an often-used term, it is ill-defined in the marketplace. Therefore, whatever process people are using to solve problems, they call it ‘RCA’. This presentation will focus on the field-proven critical thinking processes involved to solve ANY undesirable outcome, in ANY industry – from manufacturing, to healthcare, to safety to brewing! Unless we are striving to understand the reasoning behind why good people, make bad decisions…we are not doing holistic, effective RCA, we are doing Shallow Cause Analysis! Case studies from manufacturing and safety will be used to demonstrate the practical application of the concepts presented.
Member Benefits
Business Service of the Month
VMA's Retirement Solution

The VMA has partnered with Tag Resources because of their more than 100 years experience in the retirement industry so that small to medium sized manufacturers can offer a retirement plan to their employees while reducing administrative burden, mitigating and transferring fiduciary risks, and potentially saving money.  

The VMA Retirement Solution brings together a team of professionals on your behalf so you can focus on running your business.
To learn more about the VMA's Retirement Solution or to set up a meeting with our advisor, please visit our website here: vma.tagresources.com.
Workforce Solutions
World Class Manufacturing

An MSI process to better your business in 2021!

This program is designed to train individuals to assess operational excellence, as well as improve employee morale, individual and company performance, and company profits. Advantages of continuous improvement training through World Class Manufacturing include:

  • Increased Productivity
  • Reduction in Product Defects
  • Reduced Lead Time
  • Improved On-Time Delivery
  • Reduction in Inventory
Women in Manufacturing
WiM-Virginia Mentoring Program

Now Accepting Applications!

The mission of the WiM-Virginia Chapter Mentoring Program is to help develop our members by providing them with the knowledge and leadership skills that will empower them to realize their full potential. By facilitating mentoring relationships, providing opportunities for reflection and self-examination, and teaching practical leadership skills, the program helps women in industry strengthen their self-confidence, find their voice, learn to wield influence and exercise authority, and articulate and pursue leadership goals. We are now accepting applications for mentors and mentees who would like to participate in the first year of our program.

Check out the Mentoring Program page at https://www.wimva.com/ for program details.
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.
January Resource - High Traffic Hygiene: Perception is Reality

Happy New Year! Although we have officially flipped the calendar to 2021, the hangover that was 2020 remains. The COVID-19 pandemic presented itself like an unwelcomed guest and challenged us in every imaginable way. These challenges can turn into opportunities to assess how health and safety standards are maintained which affect employee morale, absenteeism, and production. Having discussions regarding ideas, rules, and regulations centered on hygiene are more important than ever during this time.

Two spaces of particular importance when discussing hygiene standards are communal restrooms and breakrooms – highly trafficked areas that can set the tone in interpreting hygiene priorities within a workplace. Facility managers can easily implement these five action items into existing hygiene practices to ease employee anxiety and improve morale:

  1. Implement Sealed Hand Soap Systems – Easy to implement and has the greatest effectiveness against COVID-19 and other transferable bacteria and viruses. Studies show that the use of bulk soap dispensers results in users having higher bacteria counts after hand washing. Upgrading to sealed systems eliminates soap contamination.
  2. Engage in Deep Cleaning – In addition to daily cleaning, a deep cleaning program aims to reset hygiene levels. At minimum, this should take place quarterly, but, depending on the number of employees and facility visitors, weekly deep cleaning may be necessary.
  3.  Explore Touch-free Options – A touch-free restroom slows the spread of germs and demonstrates a commitment to your employees and guests – as well as improves user experience, reduce costs, and are kind to the environment. These options extend to safer, innovative personal hygiene disposal options, as well.
  4. Enhance Air Purification – This long-term solution can mitigate the spread of respiratory droplets even in a post-COVID-19 environment. Additional benefits include keeping your restrooms and breakrooms smelling better, and cleaner, longer.
  5. Pay Attention to Surface Protection – Not all disinfectants are created equal, and many have specific dwell times required for effectiveness. Knowledge of proper use is the most valuable factor for disinfecting germs at high traffic touch points located throughout facilities. 

COVID-19 has emphasized the need for increased hygiene practices in highly trafficked workplace areas. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions. I would love to hear from you.

Abram Miller, Citron Hygiene – General Manager, Virginia
2021 Virtual Town Hall Sponsor
COVID-19 Resources
Employer Vaccination Programs and New EEOC COVID-19 Guidance

On Dec. 16, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated its COVID-19 guidance, offering additional instruction as to whether and when an employer can require its employees to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine. This guidance comes days after the Food and Drug Administration approved the distribution of the first COVID-19 vaccine in the United States under an emergency use authorization. The new guidance is contained in additional questions and answers in the EEOC’s “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.”

According to the new EEOC guidance, employers may put in place mandatory programs that require employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, subject to certain exceptions and other conditions to address accommodations for medical disabilities and religious beliefs.

Made In Virginia
Governor Northam Announces World’s Largest Flooring Manufacturer to Expand Operation in Carroll County

Mohawk Industries to create 35 new jobs, invest $22.5 million to modernize production facility

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Mohawk Industries, Inc. (NYSE:MHK), the leading global manufacturer of residential and commercial flooring products, will invest $22.5 million to expand its operation in Carroll County. The company will add 19,000 square feet to its facility at 351 Floyd Pike in Hillsville and install new extrusion and loom equipment to increase production speed. Virginia successfully competed with other states for the project, which will retain 75 existing jobs and create 35 new jobs. Read more >>>
CameraMatics raises €4m in Series A funding round

Leading IoT Fleet and vehicle safety technology specialist CameraMatics has successfully raised in excess of €4 million in a Series A investment round from a stellar consortium of investors led by Puma Private Equity, along with existing investors Sure Valley Ventures and Enterprise Ireland.

The funds will be used to support further expansion of the US branch of the business and drive forward the recent entry into the mainland European market. CameraMatics expects to create more than 50 jobs over the next two to three years in Ireland along with other roles in the UK, US and mainland Europe. The company also has an extensive roadmap for future product and software development. Read more >>>

CameraMatics is a sponsor of 2021 Virtual Town Hall Series.
Recap: Virtual Day on the Hill
2021 VMA Day on the Hill

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.

This year's Day on the Hill was held virtually. We hosted 12 meetings with 14 key legislators, and manufacturers from across the Commonwealth dialed in to discuss important industry issues and the future of manufacturing in Virginia.

Thank you to our sponsors!