Letter from the President & CEO
Dear Members,

What a difference 30 days makes in Virginia politics! Political time is now measured in “dog years,” so a lot has happened since the last newsletter. 1,033 bills were introduced in the 2021 special session of the Virginia General Assembly. Amazingly, 90% of the bills introduced passed. Now that the Special Session has concluded, the Governor has until March 31 to amend or veto bills for the General Assembly to consider at its April 7 “reconvened or veto session.”
On April 5, the VMA will publish its comprehensive 2021 Legislative Wrap-Up Report and hold a members-only webinar to review the details. By that time, we will know Governor Northam’s amendments and vetoes. So, I thought a “sneak peek” at some initial findings would be appropriate. For example, between 2013 and 2021, the pass rate for all introduced legislation went from 41% to 90%. This demonstrates the resolve of a single-party (Democrats) controlling both Chambers of the legislature.

Overall, the VMA managed and monitored 167 bills, with 35 identified priority bills, 72 identified defensive priority bills. VMA produced a 69% success rate with this year’s 35 priority bills. 46% of the priority bills had Republican patrons and 54% had Democratic patrons. VMA also produced an 87% success rate with this year’s 72 defensive priority bills. 7% of the select defensive priority bills had Republican patrons and 93% had Democratic patrons. Overall, the VMA found more bipartisanship than last year to help pass good bills and amend or defeat bad bills. This was largely the result of Senate actions.

A few of the major political battles with immense consequences for the manufacturing sector pertained to the Democrats’ plans for an electric-only economy, which includes converting all vehicles to electric vehicles, supported entirely by renewable generation sources. The VMA lobbied for more regulatory transparency, energy and fuel diversity, cost controls, and considerations of sustainability, reliability, and economic and national security. The VMA and a coalition of 12 other business associations have petitioned the Governor to veto all related bills pending further consensus and economic development analysis. Read the letter here.

Areas where we found bipartisan support were in workforce development, advanced recycling, and personal protective equipment. Specifically, the General Assembly overwhelmingly supported efforts to expand workforce credential training (G3), redefine advanced recycling as manufacturing (joining only 10 other states in leading the nation on this technology transformation), and exempting 15 specific products and product categories of personal protective equipment (PPE) from sales taxation. These were just a few of our major victories this session with real, positive economic consequences for members.

Still, there are a few remaining bills that the VMA and our affiliate organizations are petitioning Governor Northam to amend. For example, HB1800 requires unitary combined group corporate net income tax reporting as mandatory research assistance to the VA Tax Commissioner. The VMA requested that the Governor veto Item 3-5.23 #1c. Another example is HB1902, which bans polystyrene food containers for business, government, and non-profit use by 2025. The ACC and Coalition for Consumer Choices requested that the Governor veto this legislation. So, these Gubernatorial vetoes and amendments, in addition to the transportation sector electrification bills, still require our immediate attention.

After session, there will be 10 separate Boards, Commissions, Councils, and Studies that will require our investment of time and resources. These will range from work groups studying the feasibility of transitioning to a unitary combined reporting system for corporate income tax purposes, to a new fee schedule for nonhazardous solid waste management facilities and water withdrawal permits, to the regulation of all new automobile and engine emissions. VMA Committees will help manage responses to these working groups and regulatory bodies. If you want to join the Virginia Chemistry Council, or the VMA Taxation, Environmental Health & Safety, Energy, or Workforce Solutions Committees, please contact Kimberly Noonan, VMA Member Services Director, at knoonan@vamanufacturers.com.

Thank you for supporting the VMA’s Virginia MFG Competitiveness Plan and Government Affairs programming. We are making progress but will have to increase our advocacy and political action to remain effective. This is also an election year, so the stakes are high. Educating legislators about Virginia MFG Competitiveness and economic impact will be essential to telling your story of how Manufacturing Makes Virginia.

Best Wishes,


Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO
Government Affairs
State Updates

VMA Joins Business Coalition Challenging Electric-Only Economy
We joined ten other organizations in voicing concerns about the Virginia House and Senate Democrats' plans for an electric-only economy. Read our joint letter to Governor Northam here. To express your own concerns about automotive regulations being excluded from the Virginia Administrative Process Act (VAPA), use our VoterVoice campaign to easily send an email.

Virginia's Tax Conformity to the Internal Revenue Code Advanced to Dec. 31, 2020
Governor Northam has signed the tax conformity legislation, which will go into effect immediately and is retroactive due to its emergency clause. Review the Virginia Department of Taxation's Tax Bulletin 21-4 for important information about Virginia income tax returns. Incorporates PPP revenue and expenses up to $100,000. Search VMA Connections for a qualified accounting firm to help you.

VMA Applauds the Signing of PPE Sales Tax Exemption
Governor Northam signed into law SB1403 and HB2185, establishing a Retail Sales Tax exemption for an expansive list of 15 personal protective equipment products/product categories. This legislation will help every Virginia business reduce its expenses and protect its workforce. The Virginia Department of Taxation will publish a Certificate of Exemption by March 22, 2021. View our recent news release celebrating these bills and the leaders who supported them here.
Federal Update: The American Rescue Plan

On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill intended to deliver assistance to working families, offer funding to reopen schools, and support communities struggling with economic fallout from the pandemic. Here is a synopsis of the bill from Senator Tim Kaine:

  • Direct payments of $1,400 per person for low- and middle-income households, plus $1,400 per dependent, including older teenagers and adult dependents.
  • Extended unemployment assistance into September.
  • Funding for mental health resources specifically for frontline health care providers.
  • Expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) to provide aid to low-income workers and families, benefitting more than 1.5 million Virginian children, including lifting 85,000 Virginian children out of poverty.
  • $20 billion to improve vaccine distribution (Virginians can pre-register for the vaccine at www.vaccinate.virginia.gov or speak directly to someone at (877) 829-4682).
  • $125.8 billion for K-12 schools to reopen safely.
  • $360 billion in relief to state, local, and tribal government efforts to address COVID-19.
  • $7.25 billion to expand access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for nonprofits and other organizations.
  • A new $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund to provide grants for restaurants.
  • $7 billion for the Federal Communications Commission to support broadband access for students by providing telecommunications services to schools and libraries.

Upcoming Conferences & Events
March 22: Virtual Supply Chain Sourcing Opportunities & Group Metals Purchasing Program
  • COVID-19 will continue to restrict “in person” meetings and trade shows in 2021. The VMA is dedicated to expanding supply chain opportunities across the Commonwealth.  In 2020, the VMA launched VMAConnections - a cloud based Service Provider Sourcing Center. VMA will announce two new opportunities in 2021 regarding a virtual supply chain event and new group metals purchasing program with Sparks Material Sourcing, LLC.

March 29: “Taxaginia” – What You Need to Know!
  • At the end of March, the General Assembly will have recessed and Governor Northam will be signing legislation that could significantly impact your business. Do you want to know all the new taxes and fees the Virginia General Assembly passed this year? Join us for our final 2021 Virtual Town Hall to find out why the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy’s Stephen Haner has labeled the Commonwealth as “Taxaginia.”

April 5: Government Affairs Wrap-Up & COVID-19 Update
  • Join the VMA for a wrap-up of the 2021 General Assembly legislative session presented by VMA President & CEO Brett Vassey. We will also discuss COVID-19 updates, including information on the permanent COVID-19 regulation and Phase 1B vaccine news.

Use the login below to dial in to our 2021 Manufacturing Makes Virginia Virtual Town Hall Series.

Microsoft Teams meeting
Join on your computer or mobile app

Please contact knoonan@vamanufacturers.com with questions.
WiM Virginia Spring Event

April 20, 2021 | Cost: $50 per person

Session 1 - A Woman's Path to Leadership: Legislative Panel (9am - 10am)

Women public officials and manufacturing leaders will discuss their pathway to leadership. Topics will include the importance of being a risk taker, mentorship, and how women can model new paradigms of leadership and power. Panelists include Delegates Kathy Byron, Carrie Coyner, Margaret Ransone, and Senator Siobhan Dunnavant.

Session 2 - Inspiring Young Girls Through Mentorship (10:30am - 11:30am)

Greg Cummings, Vice President of Programing, MEGA Mentors, will discuss the importance of mentoring young females so they can excel in the classroom and beyond. If you’re passionate about inspiring the next generation of leaders, please join us.

For questions about sponsorships, contact Kimberly at knoonan@vamanufacturers.com.
VMA Committee Meetings

The VMA is only as strong as its members, and our committee work is critical in driving us forward on critical manufacturing issues, government affairs, professional development, networking, regulatory and outreach services. The following committee meetings are planned for April:

Government Affairs Committee
April 12, 2021 | 11:30am - 12:30pm

Energy Resources Committee
April 14, 2021 | 1:00pm - 3:00pm

EHS&S Committee
April 22, 2021 | 1:00pm - 3:00pm

All VMA Members are encouraged to participate in committees of interest. For more information on VMA's Committeesor to attend an upcoming committee meeting, contact Kimberly Noonan.
Lunch 'n Learn Webinars:
Manufacturing Content to Generate New Leads and Sales

April 22, 2021 | 11:30am - 12:30pm

Join Howard Deskin and Chris Leone of WebStrategies to learn how content can drive lead generation, lead nurturing, and build trust with your prospects and customers.
Data-Driven Decision Making

May 11, 2021 | 11:30am - 12:30pm

Are you looking to strategically expand the way your data is used to support decisions in your organization? Join us for a Lunch 'n Learn discussion on strategic alignment, integration, and technology adoption - perfect for the CEO, COO, and CFO.
Women in Manufacturing (WiM)
WiM Virginia Mentoring Program

We're now taking applications for our first class of pairings for the Mentoring Program! Apply today to:

  • Find industry connections and broaden your support network;
  • Help create a bench of future women leaders; and
  • Create a culture that sees mentorship as an effective way of developing individuals.
WiM-Virginia is now on LinkedIn! Give us a follow to stay up-to-date with our programming: Women in Manufacturing Virginia
Workforce Solutions
COVID-19 FPS Online Training: Available 24/7

Virginia COVID-19 Final Permanent Standard training is required by March 26! Are you ready?

To assist businesses with compliance, the VMA & MSI created the Virginia COVID-19 Certification Program. Our online training courses, accessible online 24/7, will cover the training required by the FPS, and you can store certificates of completion for each employee.
Member Benefits
Business Services of the Month
VMA Employee Benefits Plan

On May 1st, Virginia's minimum wage will increase to $9.50/hour, and it will continue to rise each year until it reaches $15/hour on January 1, 2026. One way to keep your workplace's wages competitive is by offering your employees a robust benefits package. Our plan is one of the few association insurance programs in the state of Virginia, offering:
  • dental, including a unique dual dental program;
  • vision coverage;
  • short- and long-term disability;
  • a voluntary life insurance option, and;
  • a potential discount on medical coverage if already with Anthem.
VMAConnections: A Service Provider Sourcing Center
We offer a search engine-focused sourcing center to identify service providers that support industry in Virginia, including those that have workplace safety designations and are women, minority or veteran owned. Find your match on VMAConnections.com.
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!
For a chance to see your company spotlighted here or to share resources, contact Kaitlyn Crow.
Come work for the VMA!
Have you ever thought about working for us? We're hiring a Sales Director!

The position 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!