Letter from the President & CEO
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Dear Members,

Now that the 2021 election primaries and Independence Day holiday are behind us, the sprint to the November election has begun. I have mentioned in past newsletters that the VMA and VMAPAC are organizing a political mobilization campaign - MFG Makes Virginia - to help educate and motivate members, your employees, and your retirees about the risks and rewards of this year's Virginia House of Delegates and Gubernatorial elections. We will roll out the multi-media campaign before September 1, 2021.

To give you some idea about how competitive this year's House elections have become, 93 seats are contested by a major party. Only five (5) Republicans and one (1) Democrat incumbent have no challenger this year. Twenty-three (23) seats are considered "competitive," according the VPAP Index. So, many believe that the House majority could be flipped with a few strategic wins.

However, House Democrats have raised $17 million compared to the Republicans $7 million this election cycle. Out-of-State money is also expected to reach record levels this election. The VMAPAC has also decided to increase its visibility this election cycle by setting a fundraising goal of $100,000. These funds will be used to support incumbents and challengers that score well on our soon to be released "Legislative Competitiveness Scorecard," and candidates that will protect Virginia's Right-to-Work law.

The Manufacturing sector has consistently ranked dead last in political action funding for nearly 20 years. This year is no different, with all 6,000 manufacturers collectively investing $515,000 in this election cycle so far, as compared to organized labor's $5 million, for example. We need every member off the sideline and in the game this year. If you are willing to contribute anything from $100 to $10,000 to the VMAPAC to support candidates and incumbents that support our VA Manufacturing Competitiveness Plan, just click here and we will follow-up immediately.

This election, let's make sure that every candidate and incumbent knows that Manufacturing Makes Virginia!

Best Wishes,

Brett

Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO
Government Affairs
VA General Assembly to Convene Special Session on Aug. 2

"In May, Northam and Democratic leaders from the Virginia State Senate and the House of Delegates outlined their priorities for the special session, including fully funding the Rebuild Virginia small business recovery program and allocating money for the state’s Unemployment Trust Fund, which ran out of money last October due to record-breaking unemployment claims and relied on loans from the U.S. Department of Labor." Read more >>>

Read about Governor Northam's plan to invest $4.3B in federal funds here.

Virginia’s Budget Surplus Approaching $2 billion - No Tax Relief for Virginians

"Virginia is likely to end the fiscal year next week with a revenue surplus of close to $2 billion, reflecting a strong economic recovery partly fueled by billions of dollars in federal emergency aid as the state emerges from a public state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic." Read more >>>
COVID-19 Final Permanent Standard §16VAC25-220 Update

 
The Governor also responded to our petition and recommended the Board adopt specific safe harbor language for employers – this is a major victory if we can get the Board to adopt the amendment at its next meeting. 
 
The Department of Labor & Industry (VDOLI) has set up a webpage dedicated to the Proposed Amendments to the Final Permanent Standard (FPS) for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus, 16VAC25-220 (click here https://www.doli.virginia.gov/proposed-changes-to-fps/). The VMA will be coordinating public comments from the membership and our Coalition for a Strong Virginia Economy. The VDOLI webpage includes links to:
  • Proposed Amendments as adopted by the Board on June 29, 2021
  • Summary of Governor Northam’s Review of Proposed Amendments to 16VAC25-220, 7/1/2021
  • 30 Day Public Comment Forum from July 1-31, 2021
 
VMA members should submit comments on the Proposed Amendments to the FPS to knoonan@vamanufacturers.com by July 15, 2021.
Governor's Appointment News

Brett Vassey, VMA President & CEO, was appointed to the VA Plastic Waste Prevention Advisory Council and elected Vice Chairman at its first meeting. Keith Christman, ACC Managing Director - Plastics Markets, will serve as Vassey's alternate.

Dr. Victor Gray, MSI Executive Director, has been appointed to the VA Board of Education's Advisory Committee for Career and Technical Education.

Richard Langford, Retired Chemical Engineer with Celanese, has been reappointed to the State Air Pollution Control Board.

You can view all of Governor Northam's recent appointments here.
Supply Chain Opportunities
2021 Virtual Supply Chain Match-Up

August 10 & 11, 2021 | 11am - 1pm EST

Industry participants will be conducting 10-minute supplier interviews for products and services during the 2-hour event window, with the meeting facilitator rotating companies to breakout rooms throughout the event. A list of participating companies is available on our event page so you can select who you would like to meet with.

Registration closes at 12pm on August 5, 2021. Check out our event page for more information. Small, woman-owned, veteran-owned, and minority-owned businesses are encouraged to register.
Thank you to our Title Sponsor, Heritage-Crystal Clean, and our Signature Sponsors, Blueprint Financial Group, Paymerang, and Virginia Israel Advisory Board, for their support. Thank you to our Marketing Sponsor, GENEDGE for their additional support.
VMA Metal Connections: Group Metals Purchasing Program

VMA is excited to offer a group metals purchasing program exclusively to members, designed to help aggregate primary metals purchases to leverage economies of scale and improve pricing, terms of service, warehousing arrangements, and more. Our goal is to have $25 million in orders under contract this year. VMA Members are invited to participate for no additional cost.

To participate, download the spreadsheets on our VMA Metal Connections page to document your metals needs. Each file has two tabs – one for round bar/tube, and one for rectangular bar/plate. Once completed, forward the files to MetalConnections@vamanufacturers.com.
All information received for Metal Connections is 100% confidential. This is a great exercise to examine and support your current competitive pricing. If you have any questions, please contact VMA Member Services Coordinator Kate Kapottos.

To find other suppliers for your business, don't forget to check out VMAConnections.
GENEDGE is now accepting applications for Phase 2 of the GO Virginia - Re-tooling Virginia Manufacturers for Strategic Industries Program

A resilient Virginia starts with resilient manufacturing. GENEDGE is looking to invest in services for small and medium size manufacturers from across Virginia with the potential to address reducing supply chain risk of critical technologies via improved capability and capacity of existing companies.
Upcoming Conferences & Events
VMA's Premiere Conferences
Virginia Environmental Health
& Safety Conference
September 21-23, 2021

Sessions include "The Importance of the Circular Economy in the Food Industry," "What a Carbon-Zero Future Means for Manufacturing," and briefings from DEQ and VDOLI. Register today!
Virginia Competitiveness Forum & WiM-Virginia Leadership Conference
November 16-17, 2021

On November 16, Ted Abernathy will unveil the 2021 VA MFG Competitiveness Index results. On November 17, we will recognize exemplary Virginia women manufacturing leaders. Register today!
Call for Papers: Virginia Environmental Health & Safety Conference

We are issuing a “call for papers” on the topic below, for presentation at the Virginia Environmental Health & Safety Conference. If you are interested in participating, please submit abstracts for consideration to Kimberly Noonan at knoonan@vamanufacturers.com by July 19. 
 
Industrial BMPs for Nutrient Credit Trading and Regulatory Compliance
Session Description: The agriculture community has pioneered the use of agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) to comply with Clean Water regulations. BMPs have been restricted to agricultural businesses only, but this panel will explore BMPs that could be transitioned to industrial properties and operations such as engineered wetlands, forestry buffers, in-stream or estuary oyster filtration, and switchgrass buffers. Speakers should come prepared to present case studies demonstrating the efficacy of their BMP strategy.
Calling all VMA Associate Members: Are you interested in hosting a Lunch 'n Learn webinar?

Each month, VMA co-hosts a Lunch 'n Learn webinar with one of our Associate Members on topics related to manufacturing. We still have a Lunch 'n Learn spot open in August! Contact VMA Member Services Coordinator Kate Kapottos to schedule a Lunch 'n Learn. View past Lunch 'n Learns here.
Manufacturing Skills Institute
Manufacturing Skills Institute Safety Program

Each year, more than 4,000,000 people in the United States suffer a workplace injury or occupational illness. MSI has a robust safety program aimed at preventing these injuries.

The Industrial Safety Readiness Training (ISRT) program provides the core concepts of safety awareness for industrial workplace training, and an individualized learning plan that addresses the most common hazardous situations faced in the industrial environment. The ISRT goal is to contribute to a reduction in workforce injuries and a higher degree of liability control.
Watch this video to hear from SW Funk Industrial Contractors about how they have incorporate ISRT into their training and support their "brother's keeper" culture.

SW Funk won the 2020 Chairman's Safety Award. This distinction is awarded each year to a business that exemplifies the highest level of safety commitment and performance.

To learn more about the ISRT Certificate program and over 1,600 online safety courses ranging from process safety to fall protection, click here.
Women in Manufacturing (WiM) Virginia Chapter
WiM Virginia Virtual Learning Center

Supervisor Training, Leadership Training, and Diversity & Inclusion Training

A core function of the WiM-Virginia Chapter is to provide customized learning and professional development opportunities for females in industry, whether their career goal is to join the C-Suite, senior management or middle management role. Check out our cloud-based training center, built to provide in-depth safety, leadership, and human resources training to help members work safer, smarter, and more competitively. These online training tools include CEUs and provide certificates of completion upon mastery of the content.   
Member Benefits
Business Service of the Month

VMA's Retirement Solution

The VMA partners 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. With questions about VMA Business Services, contact Member Services Coordinator Kate Kapottos for more information.
Associate Member Spotlight
As an extension of VMAConnections: a 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!

You can meet with a CATLab professional at our Supply Chain Event on 8/10 & 8/11.
To see your company spotlighted here or to share resources, contact Kaitlyn Crow.
Manufacturing in the News
Judge Weighs Manufacturers’ Lawsuit to Overturn Virginia Carbon Market Regulation

"Much of the Virginia Manufacturers Association’s complaint hinges on other language in the 2020 law stating that DEQ’s incorporation of the legislation into its earlier regulation 'shall be exempt from the provisions of the Virginia Administrative Process Act.'" Read more >>>

Increasing Cyberattacks on Manufacturing Sector

"As the manufacturing sector is moving towards automation and using software-centric and IoT technologies, cybercriminals see a larger attack surface to target to gain access inside the networks of manufacturing organizations." Read more >>>
Come Work for the VMA!
Have you ever thought about working for us? We're hiring a Sales Director!

The Sales Director is responsible for growing sales and increasing revenue across VMA business units, programs, and affiliates. Responsibilities include anticipating and planning for future market opportunities; developing strategies and tactics to meet monthly, quarterly, and annual sales and revenue targets; managing and closing revenue opportunities efficiently; retaining and growing member relationships at mid to senior levels; and communicating consistently.

The ideal candidate is an entrepreneurial professional with initiative - someone who can deliver consistent results independently. This role requires organization, enthusiasm, commitment, and team work to succeed. If you think you know someone suited for this role, send them our way!