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

Virginia Manufacturer's Association

In This Issue

Upcoming VMA Events
MSI Workforce Symposium
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

[Only four exhibitor tables left at VEHS.] 

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 5 | Edition 9 | May 2019
Letter from the President & CEO

Dear Members:

International trade is now a regular topic of conversation across the Commonwealth and the U.S.   Last year, Virginia manufacturers exported $15.11 billion in goods.    In particular, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will accomplish what many thought impossible nearly a year ago - freer markets and fairer trade.  Now, Congress has to do its job and r atify the USMCA trade agreement to secure the future of international trade for all Virginians.

The USMCA will replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Virginia manufactured goods exports to just Canada and Mexico was $4.11 billion last year which represents nearly 27% of Virginia's total manufactured goods exports.  So it is critical that Congress assures us a future in which we can compete fairly with our primary trading partners.  We have to remind elected officials that the USMCA's ratification is not just about companies - 20% of all manufacturing employment in VA depends upon international trade.  The average annual compensation of manufacturing workers is also over $70,244 per year.  We also find that some folks may want to discount the USMCA as only benefiting larger companies but 86% of Virginia's exports are from small businesses.  

There are also some specific provisions of the USMCA that are important to highlight.  It has added protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights; it addresses non-tariff
barriers related to trade in re-manufactured goods,
import licensing, and export licensing; its rules of origin encourages more goods and materials to be manufactured in the United States; it contains the strongest regulation of digital trade of any international agreement; and, its new enforceable labor
standards will level the playing field for American workers.

The VMA is committed to increasing Virginia manufactured goods trade 50% by 2025 and the USMCA is part of that goal.  The VMA's Commerce Committee will continue to monitor the USMCA and other trade agreements to advise the VMA Board and membership. Additionally, the VMA is a founding member of the Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL) and offers international trade assistance and resources to members through the trade network of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.  For more information on VITAL resources available to help you export, contact Ian Ginger at iginger@vamanufacturers.com.  The VMA is also developing a new program to assist members that are adversely impacted by imports through leveraging US Trade Act resources to compete in the global economy.

The USMCA will require compromise and an acknowledgment that no agreement is perfect.  It will also require a Congressional translator to explain bipartisanship.  The USMCA is many things, but it is not "Red" or "Blue" or "Republican" or "Democrat" or "Democratic/Socialist," it is purely a business deal for the betterment of the people and manufacturers in the United States, Canada and Mexico.  We need every VMA member to encourage Virginia's Congressional delegation to ratify the  USMCA - it is pro-manufacturing, pro-worker and pro-small business.


Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO

Webinar: Offloading the Day-to-Day

June 4, 2019
11AM - 11:45AM EST

The 401(k) Retirement Program offered through the VMA and powered by TAG Resources is easy to administer, consistently compliant, risk managed, and cost competitive.  Please join Ian Ginger, VMA Business Services Director, and Jim Anderson of Transamerica for a webinar to learn more about the VMA's new 401(k) plan.  Please RSVP today!

You can also learn more about the program or request additional information at Virginia Manufacturers Association.  

Save On All Spring Cleaning For Your Business

Did you know that you can save up to 55% off all of the cleaning items you need to make your business shine this spring?

It's true.

And it's all part of the incredible savings available to you when you're part of our Office Depot OfficeMax Business Savings Program.

Plus, when you're signed up, you can access discounts on other business essentials including:
  • 20% to 55% off item office supply core list
  • 20% to 55% off retail on break room items
  • Average 10% off 200 technology core items
Make sure you're registered to start taking advantage of these exclusive member savings.

Shape of Things to Come Seminar: 3D Printing in Manufacturing 

Join 3DOLOGIE to discuss the current state of AM, along with the challenges, risks, and opportunities in the manufacturing space. This free seminar will focus on advanced manufacturing technologies, tools and practices that optimize development and production. Live demonstrations of 3D printers and metal, composite and plastic parts will be available.

June 11, 2019
9:30 - 11:30AM
Virginia Air & Space Center
600 Settlers Landing Road, Hampton, VA 23669

Manufacturing Day - October 4
Mark you calendar for Manufacturing Day on Friday, Oct. 4 to showcase what you're doing to educate students and the public about manufacturing careers.   

Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI): BSafe2Work Program

Each year, more than 4.1 million people in the United States suffer a workplace injury or occupational illness.  Injuries are always unexpected, but using simple and proven concepts, employees can learn to recognize at-risk conditions or behavior before they lead to injury.
MSI has developed the BSafe2Work Program which provides the core concepts of safety awareness for industrial workplace training through an individual learning plan that addresses the most common hazardous situations faced in the industrial environment.

The program includes instruction through 5 courses:
  • Lockout Tagout: Make No Mistake
  • Confined Space: Plan & Prepare
  • Safety Orientation: A New Way of Thinking
  • Warehouse Safety: Safe Material Handling
  • Safety Data Sheets: The Information Connection
The program was developed to supplement your company safety training with safety materials that your employees can access on their smart phone or tablets from anywhere - 24/7.  MSI will provide a custom URL and online library to be used exclusively by your employees.  

As participants complete the online training, they will receive a certificate of completion as well as online incentives such as:
  • Discounts to OfficeMax/Office Depot.
  • Corporate Shopping discounts to 250 top national retailers and private offers.
  • Tickets at Work exclusive 20-60% discounts, special offers, access to preferred seating & perks for thousands of products including theme parks, shows, sporting events, concerts, dinner shows, movies and much more.
  • Microsoft product discounts.
For more information and this program, please contact Dr. Victor Gray, Workforce Solutions Executive Director, at (804) 643-7489.