Letter from the President & CEO
Dear Members,

The VMA will celebrate its 100th Anniversary in 2022. Not many organizations have this longevity and those that make it do so with hard work and shrewd strategic planning. So, in preparation for this milestone, the Board of Directors needs your feedback.

We pride ourselves on a culture of continuous improvement. We seek feedback from members during every interaction from events to workforce training. But, strategic planning requires a deeper dive into key issues such as political action and public policies. We have crafted a short survey that will help us in the development of our Vision 2025 - Strategic Plan. Your feedback will enable us to better prioritize services, investments, and resources to ensure the competitiveness of Virginia's manufacturing sector and membership value to each member.

Please take 10 minutes and complete our 2021 Membership Survey. Click here to access.

Please help us prepare for our 100th Anniversary and Vision 2025 Strategic Plan. In addition, if you know of someone (or yourself) that should be considered for appointment to our 100th Anniversary Celebration Steering Committee, please email Kimberly Noonan (knoonan@vamanufacturers.com) by July 1, 2021.

Best Wishes,


Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO
Government Affairs
COVID-19 Final Permanent Standard §16VAC25-220 Update:

With Virginia’s state of emergency set to expire at the end of this month, Governor Northam has requested that the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board convene a meeting before June 30, 2021 to address the final Permanent Standard (FPS), which does not evolve with improving pandemic conditions across the Commonwealth. It is of utmost importance that the Safety and Health Codes Board take action to address the discrepancies between the FPS, CDC guidance, and the rapidly changing realities of the workplace during this pandemic. View the letter from Governor’s Office here. The VMA will continue to provide updates as developments occur.
DEQ Plastic Waste Prevention Advisory Council Meeting

June 17, 2021 | 2:00PM - 4:00PM

The Plastic Waste Prevention Advisory Council was established to advise the Governor on policy and funding priorities to eliminate plastic waste impacting native species and polluting the Commonwealth’s environment and to contribute to achieving plastics packaging circular economy industry standards. View the draft agenda for the meeting here.
Virginia's Carbon Free Transportation Future Kick-off

June 24, 2021 | 10:00AM

SAVE THE DATE: On June 24, DEQ will launch a public engagement project to help deliver Virginia’s clean transportation future. This project will inform an upcoming DEQ report that will investigate strategies to accelerate low-carbon transportation solutions and ultimately eliminate greenhouse gas pollution from the transportation sector.

VMA will forward more details and the registration link when it becomes available. Learn more from our recent B&A here.
ICYMI: 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.
Upcoming Conferences & Events
Lunch 'n Learn Webinar: Windmills Workforce Training

Wednesday, June 30, 2021 | 11:30am - 12:00pm

Staffing Issues? Want a more inclusive workplace but not sure where to start? 

On June 30, Nate Mahanes and Kate Kaegi will discuss the Windmills training: Free presentations and trainings that equip Human Resources and Hiring Staff with the knowledge, skills, and tools to create an inclusive workplace. 

Learn about the 12 interactive training modules available to address real world situations faced by businesses everyday, including attitude and human factors, legal requirements and accommodations. Hear how businesses from around the country have used parts or all of the training to help with their hiring process. 
2021 Virtual Supply Chain Match-Up Event

August 10 & 11, 2021 | $50 per company

Part of VMA's strategic plan is to expand supply chain opportunities among Virginia manufacturers and suppliers, including small, woman-owned, veteran-owned, and minority-owned businesses. Join us for a virtual supply chain match-up event, facilitated by David A. Miles, Ph.D., on August 10 and 11 from 11:00am – 1:00pm.

Industry participants will be conducting supplier interviews for products and services. We will include a special focus on Dominion Energy and defense industrial supply chain opportunities with Buy American goals. Interviews will be scheduled for 10-minute sessions that will continually occur during the 2-hour event window, with the meeting facilitator rotating companies to breakout rooms throughout the event. Companies will be sent a list of participants and can choose who they would like to meet with.

All online registrations must be submitted by 12pm on August 5, 2021, and the $50 registration fee must be received prior to the event. Check out our event page for more information.
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.
VMA's Premiere Conferences - SAVE THE DATE!
Virginia Environmental Health
& Safety Conference
September 21-23, 2021

Sessions include "Mobile CO2 Emissions: Electrifying the Transportation System," "Virginia Legalizes Marijuana: Ready or Not?" 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!
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 Lunch 'n Learn spots open in July and August! Contact VMA Member Services Coordinator Kate Kapottos to schedule a Lunch 'n Learn today. You can view some recorded Lunch 'n Learns here.
June is National Safety Month!
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.

Hear from SW Funk Industrial Contractors about how they incorporate ISRT into their training and support their "brother's keeper" culture.

To access 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.   
Hear Her Story Podcast Series

Subscribe and listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and YouTube!

On each episode of Hear Her Story, WiM sits down with incredible women from different roles and niche industries within manufacturing. The first four episodes are out now! Learn more here.
Member Benefits
Business Service of the Month

Manufacturers Premier Insurance Program

The Manufacturers Premier program offers comprehensive coverage and flexible options tailored to meet the specific needs of the manufacturing industry.

Underwritten by FCCI and administered by Bankers Insurance LLC, this tailored coverage for manufacturers offers:
  • Broad coverage designed to meet manufacturers' needs, including manufacturers errors & omissions
  • A group dividend plan for eligible members based on the combined loss experience of the participating members
  • Custom local service teams for claims, risk control and underwriting 
  • Convenient online resources for risk control, HR and employment law

With questions about the Manufacturers Premier program, or other available VMA Business Services, contact VMA 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!
To see your company spotlighted here or to share resources, contact Kaitlyn Crow.
Small Business Administration Resources
SBA Debt Relief Benefits

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) will continue to pay principle and interest (plus bank fees) for three (3) months for loans closed and disbursed by September 30th. With rates at historical lows, combined with SBA’s debt relief benefits, now is a good time for manufacturers to implement their growth and expansion plans. Because of SBA’s Paycheck Protection, most banks are offering SBA-backed loans. Companies are encouraged to speak with their bank about taking advantage of SBA debt relief programs - the sooner the better.
For manufacturers wanting to increase their ability to export their products, but need added capacity to meet growing demand, SBA has three loan guarantee programs that facilitate the financing of any export related activity. Also, companies can finance up to the useful life of equipment (10+ years) and acquire or expand facilities with terms up to 25 years.

There are other benefits to using SBA export programs that can help companies experience sustainable annual revenue growth of 5% to 20%. For more information on these programs, contact Bill Houck, Export Finance Manager, SBA Office of International Trade.
SBA Export Financing: How to Use an EWCP Loan to Support a Standby Letter of Credit

A new fee structure has been put into place for SBA’s Export Working Capital Program (EWCP) that makes these loans more attractive to lenders and borrowers. 

The Office of International Trade had manufacturers in mind when designing the new fee structure, specifically those engaged in custom manufacturing or engineering. Many of these types of projects include an initial deposit that the foreign buyer may request a standby letter of credit to help secure. The standby letter of credit would be used to protect the deposit in the event of a default on the contract.

When a standby letter of credit is required, the lender will typically use the funds received or availability on a line of credit to collateralize the obligation. As such, the deposit does not provide additional working capital to support the project.

Utilizing an EWCP, a lender can require as little as 25% of the letter of credit to be secured with cash. This leaves the remaining funds available to be used by the business to support the project. In addition to the increased liquidity, the exporter can also realize a reduction in the overall financing cost of the project as the cost of establishing an EWCP to support the letter of credit is often less than what it would cost to borrow on their line of credit.

As part of the Economic Aid Act signed into law on December 27, 2020, the guarantee fee on all SBA 7a loans is being paid to the lender by SBA through September 30, 2021 or until funding runs out. This means that lenders obtain up to a three-year authorization on their EWCP loans at no cost to the borrower.

The guarantee fee for EXCP loans of 12 months or less is now 0.25% of the guaranteed portion, for loans between 12-24 months, it’s 0.525%, and for loans between 24-36 months, it’s 0.80%.

Letters of credit are customized instruments and the Office of International Trade’s experienced staff of Export Finance Managers are available to help lenders review any transaction in which one may be required.
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!