Letter from the President & CEO
Dear Members,

The VMA continues to develop new resources to help you improve productivity and profitability. COVID-19 has forced us to rethink every aspect of our services. This new challenge has created many new opportunities that are included in this month's issue.

In particular, we are featuring the new initiative with GenEdge and VEDP to reshore critical industries such as PPE. We now have an aggressive Employee Benefits Plan that will help you reposition your coverage by year end. Speaking of suppliers, VMAConnections will help service providers and manufacturers connect, including those designated as woman-owned, minority-owned or with Industrial Safety Readiness Training Certification.

The enhanced PPE Sourcing Center continues to be an innovative "one-stop shop" for members to source PPE, signage and related materials for their businesses and employees. We have also put together professional development, workforce training, topical webinars and conferences through the remainder of the year. It all begins next week with the Omega Protein - VMA Open House and the Trade Builds Virginia Roundtable in Reedville, Virginia. We are fully back to business as # MFGmakesVAsafer.

The next major challenge is the implementation of the Northam Administration's COVID-19 standards. Employers will have to comply with a 60+ pages of standards that are based on the exposure risk level presented by SARS-CoV-2 virus-related and COVID-19 disease-related hazards present or job tasks undertaken by employees at the place of employment as defined in this standard/regulation (i.e., “very high”, “high, “medium”, and “lower”). This first in the nation COVID-19 standard passed the Virginia Health & Safety Board today by a vote of 9-2-1.

To assist members with compliance, the Manufacturing Skills Institute will be launching a new COVID-19 Compliance Program that will include: 1) Online training courses; 2) A disease prevention and mitigation plan workshop; and 3) a model action plan to ensure that all members are in compliance by the deadline. For more information, contact Dr. Victor Gray.

In closing, Einstein had it right, success is not the goal, the goal is to be of value. The VMA's unique blend of services and advocacy are aimed at that goal. Team VMA is ready and energized by the challenge, and thank you for the continued support.

Best Wishes,

Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO
In the News...
GENEDGE, VMA & VEDP Collaborate to Accelerate Statewide Response for Reshoring Critical Industries in Virginia

MARTINSVILLE, VA - GENEDGE announced this week that its proposal for a grant from the GO Virginia Economic Resilience and Recovery Program, with GO Virginia Region One serving as the lead applicant and the endorsement of all nine GO Virginia Regions, has been approved by the GO Virginia State Board...

...This grant will support GENEDGE and its partnering agencies as they initiate a two-year program to invest nearly $4.5 million in strengthening Virginia manufacturing statewide. The GO Virginia Economic Resilience and Recovery Program was established in April 2020 by the GO Virginia State Board. This is the first statewide program supporting provisions to back strategic initiatives in response to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This effort will support 50 companies to create or retain 500 jobs and provide a nearly $100 million boost to the economy. Efforts will also support rebuilding Virginia’s medical and non-medical personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chain.

Bill Donohue, GENEDGE President and Executive Director, explained that the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic serves as a stark reminder of the critical importance of having a reliable, U.S.-based supply of critical products for the health care sector and other industries.

View the full press release for background and details of the reshoring initiative, with quotes of support from Brian Ball, Secretary of Commerce and Trade; Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security; Mike Quillen, Chair of GO Virginia Region One Council; Shannon Blevins, Vice Chancellor of the Office of Economic Development at the University of Virginia's College at Wise; Stephen Moret, President & CEO, VEDP; Brett Vassey, President & CEO, VMA; Sean T. Connaughton, President & CEO, VHHA; Jeff Jaycox, President of Tabet Manufacturing and Chairperson, GENEDGE Board of Trustees; Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA).

Member Benefits
Business Service of the Month:
VMA Employee Benefits Plan

The VMA's Employee Benefits Plan, through our insurance subsidiary - 1st Shift Inc. and McGriff Insurance Services, offers 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
  • Plan review
Contact Ian Ginger for more information on VMA's Employee Benefits Plan. Let us help you get a competitive employee benefits plan for your employees.
Sourcing Centers for your Business:
Enhanced PPE Sourcing Center

To fight COVID-19, VMA partnered with McClung Companies to create a one-stop-shop for personal protective equipment, branded workplace signage, and health and safety materials.

Locate and purchase your supplies all in one place on the Enhanced PPE Sourcing Center.
VMA Connections : A Service Provider Sourcing Center
VMA now offers a search engine-focused sourcing center to identify service providers that support industry in Virginia. Find your perfect match on VMA Connections .com.
CrowdBlink Protect

Now that the economy is reopening, heightened safety measures to protect and prevent COVID-19 outbreaks are the new normal. VMA's newest Member Benefits Partner, CrowdBlink, is a technology provider that can quickly and easily enable businesses to re-open and stay open safely, and comply with CDC guidelines.
VMA partnered with CrowdBlink to bring members  CrowdBlink Protect  at a significantly reduced price.  CrowdBlink Protect is a COVID-19 screening application that companies can quickly deploy at their business to easily conduct assessments and record temperature readings.
For additional information, check out a  Quick Demo Video here .
Associate Member Spotlight
As an extension of VMA Connections : a Service Provider Sourcing Center , the VMA features and celebrates 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, contact Kaitlyn Crow for details.
SBA Fast Track Service - New Tool for SMEs
Introducing a New SBA Tool for U.S. Businesses
On July 13th, VMA hosted representatives from SBA during our SBA Tools for Small Business Exporters and Global Supply Chains Virtual Town Hall. Now, SBA’s Office of International Trade (OIT) is introducing a new business counseling resource for U.S. small business manufacturers looking to grow, expand, and recover global sales. 
SBA OIT’s Fast Track Service connects U.S. manufacturers with resources to support global market expansion. The business counseling will result in faster access to accurate information, eligibility requirements and insights into how to maximize relevant Federal and State trade related resources for recovery and resilience. 
With some foreign markets coming back on-line, now is a good time for U.S. small businesses to consider global market opportunities. SBA supports small business exporters and strengthens global supply chains by providing financing to small businesses in that chain.
SBA’s export financing is available to companies that may not export themselves, but instead provide inputs for other businesses that sell globally.

How does Fast Track Service Help?
COVID-19 has only increased pressures on small businesses to pivot and address new unknowns and risks. SBA OIT is introducing Fast Track Service to help small businesses access timely and accurate information on SBA international trade financing, State Trade Promotion Expansion Program (STEP) grant, and connect them to appropriate Federal and state resources for international trade.
With so many new issues to navigate and research, SBA is shortening the research cycle to speed recovery. This includes access to information and counseling on SBA Debt Relief included in the CARES Act .

How to Access SBA Resources
For SBA Fast Track call SBA toll free at (855) 722-4877 or send an email to international@sba.gov to request this service. (Please provide contact information, and availability for scheduling. SBA OIT will respond within 24 hours on weekdays to the request for an appointment.) 
For assistance with financing for market development, to fulfill global sales orders, or to expand export capacity: Bill Houck at William.Houck@sba.gov or by phone at (202) 557-4063.
For information on STEP: Monica Sadie at msadie@yesvirginia.org or 804-545-5763.
Made in Virginia
Virginia Artesian Bottling Co.

Where Branding & Bottling Go Hand-in-Hand: Virginia Artesian helps over 200 companies in Virginia build awareness about their business through adding their logo and information to bottles of crisp, clean Virginia Artesian water. Check out the video below to see the importance of branding and the pristine bottling services Virginia Artesian provides, right in Central Virginia!
Women in Manufacturing
Registration for Women in Manufacturing Summit 2020 is open, and don't worry about social distancing and travel expenses - you can attend virtually!

Join 450+ manufacturing professionals at the 10th annual WiM Summit, an important educational and networking event for women in manufacturing. Learn more about the event online, and register today!

Use the WiM-VA special discount code to get 10% off registration: WiMVA10
Workforce Development

MTM Productivity Services Corporation & the Manufacturing Skills Institute  have partnered to bring the first cloud-based software to calculate MTM reference times. It's time to tie your Lean metrics to individual employees for accountability and measuring standard times. This information will help you learn what your production department can really do, safeguard delivery capacity, and stay ahead of the competition.

Interested? Learn more or contact us TODAY!
Women in Welding

The National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) is pursuing a research study on women in the welding industry. Because women make up a disproportionately low number of welders in industry, this effort is focused on studying methods for increasing recruitment and training of women. The goals of this project are to perform a study to determine the structural issues in the welding labor market facing women and how to tailor recruitment and training efforts to increase the amount of women who are hired and trained in the welding field for shipbuilding.

Please complete the five minute survey below that will help us gauge industry practices towards recruiting, training, and retaining women.
Upcoming Conferences & Events
Lunch 'n Learn Webinar:
Big Ideas Matter... Manage and Protect Your Global Assets!
Monday, July 20
11:30am - 12:30pm

Amy Pruitt Esq., Williams Mullen LLC, will present at our last July Lunch 'n Learn Webinar. You can read ahead on how to protect your global branding here and register below.
9th Annual Workforce Solutions Symposium

August 5 & 6, 2020 - Live from your office!

We are going virtual! This year's Workforce Solutions Symposium includes participants from the national MSI academic partner network featuring workforce development and educational best practices from industry, NGOs, and academic institutions from across the United States.

The Symposium will showcase ways to get each of these groups to move out of their silos and collaborate. The Symposium will also offer professional education credits and free training resources. This two day event offers multiple sessions for you to attend throughout each day ranging from training for the Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory to managing issues of civil unrest with your workforce. To view the full schedule, check out our event webpage.

As a registered attendee, you can attend ALL sessions on the schedule, as well as have access to the recorded session. And now, all attendees are eligible to earn 6 SHRM Credits. Don't miss out on this professional development opportunity!
Virginia Environmental Health & Safety Conference

September 23 & 24
Hilton Richmond Hotel &
Conference Center
Virginia Competitiveness Forum & WiM-Virginia Recognition Luncheon

Tuesday, November 17
Williamsburg Lodge
Conference Center
Omega Protein Open House

Omega Protein - Reedville Facilities
Smith Building
610 Medhaden Rd.,
Reedville, VA 22539
July 22, 2020
10:00AM - 3:30PM

The Open House is available to all members and invited guests of the Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA).  Guests will be treated to a tour of the facilities, a presentation, discussions and lunch. 

To register for this event, email names of attendees to  jcrowther@omegaprotein.com with an attached Coronavirus Questionnaire filled out for each guest by July 17th.

Omega Protein has officially moved its corporate headquarters to Reedville, Virginia from Houston, Texas. As part of the move, the company invested $1.3 million to refurbish a historic building on the property to serve as the new headquarters. The move is the latest chapter of an over 100-year history of Omega Protein and the menhaden fishing industry in the Northern Neck.  They also introduce a new fishing vessel, the ‘Little River’, this year; a capital investment of over $7M, and retired an older vessel which had been in service since the early 70s and will later be sunk as an artificial reef.  Now in their 142 nd  year of continuous operation in the Commonwealth, Omega Protein’s Reedville facilities remain a key economic driver of the community and of the Northern Neck of Virginia. The facilities include fish processing and a Health and Science Center and Oil Refinery, millions of dollars of new processing equipment, innovative product storage and significant environmental improvement initiatives that have been implemented in recent years.

Note: Dress code for the day will be casual pants/shirts, closed toe, and flat heeled shoes. Jewelry/watches need to be placed in purses or pockets during the plant tours.
Trade Builds Virginia Roundtable and Reception
Omega Protein - Reedville Facilities
Smith Building
610 Medhaden Rd.,
Reedville, VA 22539
3:30PM - 5:30PM
July 22, 2020

Immediately following the Omega Protein Open House, Trade Builds Virginia will host a Roundtable and Reception. The feature will be presentations by companies that participated in the digital storytelling campaign highlighting the importance of global trade and sharing how they are adjusting their business practices, infrastructure, and processes because of tariffs. Special guests will include community leaders, General Assembly members and Congressional leaders.

Ensuring that Virginia businesses have access to global markets and consumers is a crucial component of any economic recovery. This event will bring together like-minded leaders who represent the pillars of the Commonwealth's economy - small business, manufacturing, transportation/logistics, agriculture and technology. This is our first partnership with the national Trade Builds America advocacy campaign, and we are excited to discuss the ways in which trade can make Virginia manufacturers even more competitive.

Note: This event requires separate time and registration from the Omega Proteins Open House. Please register below.