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

Virginia Manufacturer's Association

In This Issue

Upcoming VMA Committee Meetings
Upcoming VMA Events

VMA-VA Israel Advisory Board
Defense & Security Industry Trade Event

March 28, 2019
Fairfax, Virginia

16 Israeli manufacturers, the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the Israeli Manufacturers Association will meet with Virginia companies for contract collaboration

For a list of Israeli companies or to RSVP, email

MFG Makes VA Town Halls

April 11 @ Richmond Raceway

To register, click here.

May 2 @ Bristol Motor Speedway

To register, click here.

August 8, 2019
9AM - 4:30PM
Liberty University, School of Business


17th Annual Virginia Environmental Health and Safety Conference (VEHS)

September 18 -19
Hilton Hotel & Spa
12042 West Broad St.
Richmond, VA

Virginia Competitiveness Forum 
2nd Annual VMA STEP Ahead Award Recognition Luncheon

November 19
Williamsburg Lodge Conference Center
310 S England St.
Williamsburg, VA

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VOLUME 3 | Edition 9 | March 2019
Letter from the President & CEO

Dear Members:

The Spring member committee meetings and MFG Makes Virginia Town Halls have now been prepared.  This issue provides an overview of the comprehensive professional development opportunities available to you in the coming weeks.

We are also featuring one of our newer committees this issue - the Commerce Committee.  We are particularly excited about this upcoming committee meeting because we have initiated a new trade relationship with the Manufacturers' Association of Israel. This relationship will be formalized at the upcoming VA-Israel Advisory Board Defense and Security Industry Trade event of which the VMA is a co-host.  I urge all members to join the Commerce Committee to help e xpand Virginia manufactured goods exports 50% by 2025.   

March is also the beginning of our  Vision 2020 fundraising campaign.  Our goal is to raise $500,000 through Vision 2020 for our workforce development programs.  We have developed a creative infographic to describe the need for and use of resources for workforce development as well as a 3-minute animated infographic video to explain how we are closing the skills and interest gaps in the workforce.

New workforce programs and skills certifications that are currently under development include:
  • Women in MFG Program
  • Workplace Behavior Assessment
  • Pre-Employment Assessment
  • ChemTech Certification
  • ChemMT Certification
  • MFG Maintenance Certificate
  • BSafe2Work Safety Training & Microlearning Program
These new resources will be added to the Manufacturing Skills Institute's existing portfolio of  workforce solutions.

The manufacturing sector needs over 6,000 industry credentialed individuals a year just to fill current vacancies.  Less than 1 in 10 individuals can pass the basic workplace behaviors and skills assessments to qualify for these jobs. The MSI progams have demonstrated that nearly 100% of industry credentialed individuals are placed and retained with a cost reduction of over $17,000 per new hire to members.

This year's Vision 2020 fundraising campaign will be in cooperation with the VMA's educational foundation, the Virginia Industry Foundation.  Your contribution will enjoy tax benefits as a gift.  To make your $1,000, $5,000 or $10,000 gift today, go to http://manufacturingskillsinstitute.org/vision2020/ or email me at bvassey@vamanufacturers.com to discuss.
Best Wishes,  

Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO

VMA Commerce Committee
May 16 @ Volvo Penta

11:00AM-1:00PM | 1300 Volvo Penta Drive | Chesapeake, VA

The Commerce Committee is focused on creating supply-chain opportunities and removing barriers for Virginia manufacturers and their suppliers, to increase domestic business opportunities, expand international trade and share best practices.  

The next meeting will focus on the Trade Act benefits to your company, the value of VITAL export assistance resources, the value of US Commercial Service export assistance resources, a review of the state's draft international trade plan, a discussion about a bilateral trade promotion agreement with the Manufacturers' Association of Israel, and an expert panel to answer questions pertaining to tariffs, export financing and trade compliance regulations. Attendees will also tour the Volvo Penta facility after the program.  

EXIM 2019 Annual Conference March 28-29

The Export-Import Bank of the United States will be hosting their 2019 Annual Conference Exports: Connecting Trade with U.S. Security and Prosperity on March 28-29 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.  This annual conference provides an opportunity for the brightest minds in business, economic policy, and foreign affairs to engage in the conversation of key strategic global issues.  

Click here  to view a program outline and link to registration.

2019 STEP Ahead Award Honorees and Emerging Leaders Announced

On March 1st, the Manufacturing Institute announced the recipients of the 2019 STEP Ahead Awards.  Some 130 women from 101 different companies were selected for this national honor for the significant impact they have created not only within their companies, but in their communities as well.  These women represent careers from the factory floor to the C-suite and truly showcase the many opportunities the manufacturing sector offers.  18 women from Virginia were nominated for these awards and recognized last November at the Virginia STEP Ahead Award Recognition Luncheon at Kingsmill Resort.  

Three of the Virginia nominees have been selected to receive the national STEP Ahead Award and Emerging Leader Award on Thursday, April 11, in Washington D.C.   Congratulations to the following Virginia STEP Ahead Award and Emerging Leader Award winners!  

Sudharshana Apte
Sr. Scientist II
Altria (ALCS)

Trudy Stewart
Shift Test Engineer
Huntington Ingalls Industries

Vera Wintink
IT Systems Engineer
Huntington Ingalls Industries

If you are interested in the VMA Women in Manufacturing Council and its programs, including support for the STEP Ahead Award program, please contact Kimberly Noonan, VMA Member Services Director, at knoonan@vamanufacturers.com.  

Click here to view the full list of winners for 2019!

Protecting Your Workplace Against Active Shooters

Active shooting incidents are increasing at an alarming rate.  How will you protect your workers?

He was quiet, such a nice guy. He kept to himself. He didn't socialize much. Does that sound familiar?

Neighbors, coworkers, friends of active shooting perpetrators typically describe the person to the media as a nice person in the days following a mass casualty incident. They typically don't recognize the behaviors and actions of a person planning an act of workplace violence.

Workplace violence is more likely to occur in places without policies or managers who understand what types of behaviors lead to an event. So, what can a safety professional do to effectively train workers to spot acts of incivility, discontent and changes in a person they see on a daily basis?

Click here to review a bulletin that was prepared by Admiral Security Services that outlines some basic warning signs and training needs that we hope will prove helpful to you.  

Kaufman & Canoles 35th Annual Employment Law Update

35th Annual Employment Law Update
April 18, 2019

Social media has triggered some interesting legal questions about its effect on the workplace. From posts, to photos, to comments that can be interpreted as vulgar, obscene, threatening, intimidating or even harassing - social media can make the employment law arena quite confusing. The 35th Annual Employment Law Update will highlight social media in the workplace and other employment law risks while providing practical suggestions on risk avoidance. Attendees can also earn up to 6 credit hours toward PHR and SPHR recertification through the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) and 5 PDCs toward the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.    
Click here for program details and to register for this event.

Member Benefit: VMA Group Benefits Plan

VMA Insurance Services is preparing to add health, dental and vision coverage to its services this year.   In order to make the plan viable, the VMA needs to complete an initial census collection and reach a minimum level of commitments from manufacturers like you.  We need 2,000 lives in a completed census of members by March 22, 2019. 

To help us reach our goal, please complete the following inquiry form:   VMA Group Benefits Plan Information Request.
Plan Details
Plan options will be offered through Anthem BCBS and Anthem Life:
  • Medical, Dental, Vision
  • Life/Voluntary Life
  • Short and Long Term Disability
  • Accident Coverage
  • Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity
  • Discounted FSA/HSA Accounts
For additional information or questions, please contact Ian Ginger, Business Development Director, at Iginger@vamanufacturers.com.

VA MFG Sector Economic Impact Study

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) recently published the "Economic Impact of Virginia's Manufacturing Sector" for the first time in four years. VEDP's President, Stephen Moret, unveiled the report on January 28 at the VMA Day on the Hill at the State Library of Virginia.

Some of the study's highlights are as follows:

"The direct economic output of the manufacturing industry in Virginia is estimated at $112.3 billion in 2017. The direct economic output generated an estimated additional output of $85.9 billion, meaning that every $1 in direct economic output in the manufacturing industry generated an additional $0.765. In total, $198.2 billion in economic output could be traced back to the manufacturing sector in 2017."

"The manufacturing industry also makes a significant contribution to state and local revenue. Based on 2017 employment data, Virginia's manufacturing sector, its employees, and the industries they support generated an estimated total of $7.6 billion in tax revenue. This includes $3.3 billion in State tax revenue (including income tax) and $4.4 billion in local tax revenues, with property taxes making up $3.8 billion and sales tax $500 million."

The VMA encourages all members to share this report with your colleagues and community leaders. To review the full report, click here.