Letter from the President & CEO
Dear Members,

It looks like COVID-19 regulations are going to be significantly reduced on May 28, just in time for the holiday weekend. This is welcome news. Prolonged sacrifice affects everyone differently. Over the coming weeks and months, it will be essential to analyze the personal, business, and governmental benefits and costs of policies and actions intended to beat the pandemic. A dispassionate evaluation is critical to ending this pandemic and ensuring that we are ready for the next threat.

One of the first things that the VMA is preparing is a petition to the Safety & Health Codes Board to vacate the permanent COVID-19 regulation (16VAC25-220). The VMA argued that a fixed and permanent regulation would not keep pace with CDC guidance and it did not contemplate a COVID-19 vaccination. Both predictions have come true, and Governor Northam and the Virginia Department of Labor & Industry are creating confusing guidance and FAQ documents to thread the needle. Regardless, this is a good problem - Virginia is nearing "herd immunity" levels in record time.

Virginia has weathered this storm and now we have to get everyone back to work. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced in March 2021 that a record 8.1 million jobs have gone unfilled nationally. This can be felt in every one of our members' facilities with recent reports of production declines due to a lack of workers. We have to turn our attention to this new challenge or risk a slow economic recovery, price increases, and inflation.

So, how do we convey a motivational message about ending the pandemic and rejoining the workforce in this political environment? Persistence, compelling story-telling, and opportunity. We have to tell our story over and over and over... Pairing this repetition with recorded stories from your employees about their commitment to manufacturing everything from food to PPE to vaccines is vital. Additionally, we have to raise our voices about the life-changing opportunities that a manufacturing career can provide someone. In other words, it is time to take a victory lap and celebrate the fact that manufacturers brought the country out of this pandemic by manufacturing PPE to protect us, hospital equipment to treat us, food and beverages to nourish us, and a vaccine to save us!

As we prepare the Manufacturing Makes Virginia campaign, please begin to collect your authentic stories to include in our video library. Our goal is to make sure that every candidate for office understands the importance of manufacturing in the Commonwealth, and to motivate 1,000 manufacturing employees, retirees, and supporters to political action this fall. The race is just beginning!

Best Wishes,


Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO
Government Affairs
In Case You Missed It:

Virginia’s PPE Sales Tax Exemption for Businesses

The VMA requested legislation exempting qualifying business-related PPE purchases from sales tax. The temporary exemption is available for purchases made beginning March 11, 2021. The exemption will end the day after the last of Governor Northam's COVID-19 executive orders expire. Examples of qualifying products include, but are not limited to:
  • Face coverings and masks;
  • Disinfecting products;
  • Gloves;
  • Hand sanitizer; and
  • Temperature-checking devices.

For a full list of qualifying products, see the Guidelines for Retail Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Personal Protective Equipment. The Certificate of Exemption (Form ST-13T) is available here.

View our B&A for more information.
Don't Miss Out: VMA Metal Connections
New Group Metals Purchasing Program

The VMA is excited to offer a group metal purchasing program exclusively to members through our newest strategic partner, Sparks Material Sourcing. The program is designed to help members aggregate their 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.

To participate, download the spreadsheets on our VMA Metal Connections page to document your needs. Each file has two tabs – one for round bar/tube, and one for rectangular bar/plate. All information is absolutely confidential. Once completed, forward the spreadsheets to MetalConnections@vamanufacturers.com.

To find other suppliers for your business, don't forget to check out VMAConnections.
Upcoming Conferences & Events
Trade Builds Virginia - Virtual Roundtable
TODAY, May 19, 2021 | 11:30am - 12:30pm
Trade Builds Virginia strives to educate and engage our local leaders to highlight the importance of global trade and its impact on our local communities. This is now more important than ever as we emerge from the pandemic and get on the path to prosperity. To learn more about the program, please visit www.tradebuildsvirginia.com.

We hope you will join us for this timely dialogue and welcome you to share the following registration link with others in the community: Trade Builds Virginia - Richmond Roundtable.
Lunch 'n Learn Webinar: Building Healthy Spaces
Tuesday, May 25, 2021 | 11:30am - 12:30pm

VMA members are in the business of creating. Citron Hygiene is in the business of “Building Healthy Spaces” and providing confidence. We are excited to introduce VMA members to hygienic solutions for their facilities and discuss trends we are seeing in the marketplace.
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 coming up soon:

Virginia Chemistry Council
June 9, 2021 | 10:00am - 12:00pm

Workforce Solutions Committee
June 16, 2021 | 10:00am - 12:30pm

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.
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
Virginia Competitiveness Forum & WiM-Virginia Leadership Conference
November 16-17, 2021
Workforce Solutions
Industrial Safety Readiness Training (ISRT)

Each year, more than 4,000,000 people in the United States suffer a workplace injury or occupational illness.

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.
Women in Manufacturing (WiM) Virginia Chapter
Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame

Nominate a Woman in Manufacturing by June 9!

Do you know a woman leader who has significantly supported women within her company and industry? How about someone who directly made an exceptional contribution to the advancement of women in manufacturing? Or, someone who has been a spokesperson for careers in manufacturing? If so, it's time to recognize this individual for her contributions!

WiM National recently announced the opening of nominations for the 2021 class of Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame inductees! The Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame pays tribute to those who are dedicated to supporting, promoting, and inspiring women in the manufacturing industry. They are currently seeking nominations for outstanding women leaders.
Member Benefits
Business Services of the Month
Discount Microsoft Products

The Virginia Industry Foundation is an exclusive reseller of Microsoft 365 software products. Through this arrangement, VMA members can purchase Microsoft 365 products for their business or personal use at a significantly reduced cost. It’s easy to find the software that is right for you. Go to the VIF website and view pricing and details. Contact Kate Kapottos to request more information on any of the Microsoft programs.
Corporate Shopping Employee Discount Program

Connect your employees to over 250 top national retailers offering incredible employee discounts and private offers. A few popular retailers include: Target, Lands’ End, Costco, Ralph Lauren, Orbitz, Hotels.com, J.Crew, Brooks Brothers, 1800Flowers, ProFlowers, Shoes.com, Avis, Hertz, Budget, HP Employee Purchase Program, Dell Member Purchase Program & Many More!

Registration is easy! Simply click on this link to access the site from both work and home:
TicketsAtWork Discount Program

Summer is coming! Find exclusive 20-60% discounts, special offers, access to preferred seating & many other special perks for thousands of products including theme parks, shows, sporting events, concerts, dinner shows, movies and much more. 

It only takes 2 minutes to sign up for this complimentary perk:
  1. Click Here
  2. Fill out the information to become a member using your work or personal email address.
  3. Use the VMA Company Code: VMA2017
With questions about these, 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.
Virginia Business Climate Survey
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond regularly surveys the Virginia business community to understand the conditions and decisions facing business across Virginia and the 5th District. The VMA is supporting this year's surveys to help prepare for the economic recovery.

The aggregated results of all surveys will be used to inform and guide policymakers and will be made available to survey participants and the broader public. It is essential for policymakers to understand how businesses, small and large, are impacted by COVID-19 and we hope you will take a moment to participate in this short survey.

This survey will close on May 21st to begin analyzing data.
Resources & Events - World Trade Month
Webinar: Export Finance Virtual Breakfast
May 27, 2021 | 10AM to 11AM

Getting your financing in order to take advantage of opening global markets takes time. Come with your questions and join Commercial Service, Ex-Im Bank, and SBA in a virtual breakfast chat and learn how to expand your business into international markets.

  • This one-hour online session will explain how to access export finance information and services from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the U.S. Commercial Service.
  • Learn how to increase revenues, enter new markets with less risk, and capture market share from your international competitors.
  • Free. There is no cost to attend. 
  • Develop an effective export strategy, locate the best markets for your company’s products, and find the most qualified international buyers and partners. 
  • Utilize the Commercial Service to open new international markets and find new partners and customers overseas.
  • Learn how Ex-Im can help your business finance the sale of your goods and services to international markets. 
  • Ex-Im Bank can assume credit and country risks that the private sector is unable to accept. 
  • Find out how SBA’s Export Working Capital Program (EWCP) can support your export financing of labor and materials or receivables. 
  • Learn about the Export Express and the international loan programs.
Event: SelectUSA 2021 Investment Summit
June 7-11, 2021 | Registration Cost: $850

The 8th annual SelectUSA Investment Summit promotes the United States as the world’s premier investment destination and connects qualified foreign firms with U.S. economic development organizations (EDOs) to facilitate business investment and job creation.
This year's virtual SelectUSA Investment Summit will draw high-caliber attendees to help participants connect and create new pathways to business deals and opportunities. SelectUSA Investment Summit participants include:
  • EDOs on hand to share business location intelligence.
  • Pre-vetted potential investors actively seeking business opportunities in the United States.
  • Relevant service providers that can help investment possibilities become realities.
  • C-Suite executives and U.S. government officials who can discuss the latest policy and business trends.
SelectUSA welcomes investors representing international businesses of all sizes that are seeking to establish or expand operations in the United States, as well as U.S. economic development organizations, representatives from U.S. state and local governments, service providers, and associations facilitating direct investment into the United States to apply. Those who wish to attend the Investment Summit must submit an application and be approved.
Resource: FTA Tariff Tool

The FTA Tariff Tool is an online resource to help you determine the tariff, or tax at the border, that certain foreign countries will collect when your product crosses into their country. In trade agreements, countries commit to lowering tariff rates over time to zero. The FTA Tariff Data Tool is a database with all the rates the United States’ Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners have committed to implementing and maintaining. Learn more >>>
Resource: International Trade Administration's Market Diversification Tool

The Market Diversification Tool can help identify potential new export markets using your current trade patterns. Based on the products you export and the markets you currently export to, the tool uses an algorithm to rank potential markets you may want to consider as future export markets. Learn 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!