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

Virginia Manufacturer's Association

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VOLUME 11 | Edition 8 | November 2018
Letter from the President & CEO

Dear Members:

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope that you enjoy some quality time with friends and family this week. Our family tradition is to share specific examples of thankfulness from the last year.  I am most thankful that my son has successfully completed mid-term exams as a Freshman in college.  Whew!  

Professionally, I am mindful of how tenuous competitiveness can be for a company, state or country.  Competing to win is a national conversation that is gaining momentum.  Of course, you also cannot manage what you do not measure.  Thankfully the VMA invests in resources to better measure and manage the Commonwealth's manufacturing competitiveness.

Specifically, last year the VMA and Virginia Industry Foundation published the first state manufacturing sector strategic plan- " A Virginia Vision for a More Competitive Manufacturing Future."  That strategic plan also included the first VA MFG Competitiveness Index where the Commonwealth's competitiveness was measured in five key areas (Business Climate, Workforce, Infrastructure, Innovation and MFG Strength) against 49 states and DC.  In 2018, Virginia ranked #11 overall.

Last week the VMA and Virginia Industry Foundation published the second edition of the VA MFG Competitiveness Index to include updated data for 2018.  This year the Commonwealth moved up two spots to #9 overall.  However, we lost ground in several key areas that are essential to making Virginia one of the Top 5 states for manufacturing.

Although I am encouraged by our improved ranking, one of my sincere concerns is how fast one can fall in the rankings.  As I look down the legislative and regulatory road ahead, there are obstacles accumulating.  At the state level, we are losing ground on the importance of environmental regulatory balance, energy resources and infrastructure are facing drastic cost increases, industry credential attainment by the emerging workforce is growing too slowly to meet demands, University spending is making higher education unattainable for many, government entitlement program costs appear to be unsustainable, and tax reform to compete with peer states may be politically illusory. 

However, these obstacles also present opportunities.  Virginia is at an important crossroads.  We have incredible information about the costs and benefits of public policies that would help us speed toward a more competitive manufacturing future.  The result will be more diverse manufacturing jobs and economic opportunity across the entire Commonwealth - from rural Virginia to the "Golden Crescent."  All one has to do is look at the incredible opportunities created by the recent announcements of Newport News Shipbuilding, Micron Technology and Amazon to be inspired by Virginia's potential.

We need your help bringing the competitiveness message to the Virginia General Assembly.  Please join me at the  2019 VMA Day on the Hill (January 28, 2019).  

Best Wishes and Happy Thanksgiving,  
Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO

1st Annual STEP Ahead Award Recognition Luncheon

The VMA held the 1st Annual Women in Manufacturing STEP Ahead Award Recognition Luncheon on November 14th at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia. The luncheon was held in conjunction with the Virginia Competitiveness Forum and recognized eighteen outstanding women leaders who have been nominated for a 2019 National Science Technology Engineering and Production (STEP) Ahead Award or Emerging Leaders Award. The VMA is the newest state chapter of the STEP Ahead Program which was launched by The Manufacturing Institute in 2012. 

Erin Kane, CEO of Advansix, delivered the keynote speech at this year's event and challenged nominees to "be their authentic self" in business. 
The VMA Women in MFG program's purpose is to close the gender gap in manufacturing and showcase the impact of women in STEP careers. The STEP Ahead Awards highlight the achievements of real women in manufacturing who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their companies and communities.
"It was an honor to be a part of this groundbreaking event to recognize 18 outstanding women leaders. We know there are many more outstanding women in the Commonwealth of Virginia doing great things and this is one way to recognize their achievements," said Tanya Cook, VMA Vice Chairman (Philip Morris USA).
The following nominees were recognized at the luncheon.

STEP Ahead Nominees:
  • Ranae Anderson - Universal Fibers
  • Sudharshana Apte - ALCS (Altria)
  • Cynthia Cunningham - Nu Mark (Altria)
  • Jane Day - Newport News Shipbuilding
  • Lynn Fraser - Newport News Shipbuilding
  • Cindy Forbes - Eaton
  • Paula Hill - Newport News Shipbuilding
  • Melissa Harrison - Strongwell
  • Allison Ortigosa - Merck & Co. Inc.
  • Stephanie Leitch - Nu Mark (Altria)
  • Pamela Setterholm - Newport News Shipbuilding
  • Keisha Pexton - Newport News Shipbuilding
  • Vera Wintink - Newport News Shipbuilding
  • Rebecca Spencer - Newport News Shipbuilding

Emerging Leaders Nominees:
  • Emmaleen De-Vera - ABB
  • Priyanka Joshi - Lockheed Martin
  • Chantiny Reese - Philip Morris USA (Altria)
  • Trudy Stewart - Newport News Shipbuilding 

VMA Board Members, Erin Kane (CEO, Advansix), and 2019 STEP Ahead Award Nominees

The Manufacturing Institute STEP Ahead Program is a national initiative that includes an annual awards gala which will be held on April 11, 2019 in Washington, D.C.  

For more information on the VMA Women in MFG Program or the STEP Ahead Awards, please contact knoonan@vamanufacturers.com.  

GENEDGE - Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification 

Develop your competitive edge through Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement Certification. 

December 3-7
8AM - 5PM 
Cost: $2,900 per person

UVA Research Park, Town Center Two, 
1001 Research Park Blvd., 4th Floor
Charlottesville, VA 22904

GENEDGE provides Lean Six Sigma training and support to multiple companies and organizations across many diverse industries including healthcare, financial, manufacturing and government. Using Master Black Belt instructors with many years of practical LSS experience, GENEDGE delivers the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training utilizing the latest materials, techniques and exercises.

The curriculum includes all the key tools and skills needed to get fast, sustainable project results. Green Belts will be able to successfully lead small projects (or support Black Belt project teams) to rapidly improve cost, quality, delivery and responsiveness to their end customers.

The Five Day Training Program covers the full DMAIC methodology. You will learn how to:
  • Identify and validate Improvement Projects using Project Charters.
  • Select Project Teams and provide focused and effective leadership.
  • Collect the Voice of the Customer and determine the critical needs.
  • Analyze data with Value Stream Maps and various Basic Statistical Tools.
  • Develop and implement the Solution and put Controls in place.
Click here to see details.

Member Benefit:
VMA Insurance Services


As 2018 draws to a close, now is a great time to reflect on your business insurance needs with specific questions such as:
Has your insurance policy been reviewed lately?

Do you know if you have gaps in coverage?

Has your insurance plan grown with your business?

The VMA has partnered exclusively with Bankers Insurance to get you the property and casualty protection you need, for the unique risks that affect your business. 

Visit BankersInsurance.net/vma for a complimentary consultation  or  for more information, contact Katie Miller at  kmiller@vamanufacturers.com .

VMAPAC Industrial Strength Leadership Award

At this year's VA Competitiveness Forum, Brett Vassey, VMA President & CEO, and Tanya Cook, VMA Vice Chairman (Philip Morris USA)  presented Delegate Glenn Davis (84th District) with the VMAPAC Industrial Strength Leadership Award.  The award is presented to legislators who demonstrate support for the VMA's pro-manufacturing agenda as measured by their most recent legislative session voting record.  

Delegate Davis is one of only 6 legislators receiving this year's award. He had a 93% pro-manufacturing voting record in 2018.  Click here to view the press release and full list of award recipients.