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

Virginia Manufacturer's Association

In This Issue

Upcoming VMA Committee Meetings

Click here  to view a full list of all committee meetings and meeting details.

Upcoming VMA Events

Virginia Competitiveness Forum 
2nd Annual Women in MFG Recognition Luncheon

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


2020 VMA Day on the Hill 
VCBG Craft Beer Caucus 

Monday, February 3rd 

Follow Us On Social Media
VOLUME 11 | Edition 9 | November 2019
Letter from the President & CEO

Dear Members:

The Virginia General Assembly will be controlled by Democrats for the first time in 20 years after yesterday's election. Now, with the Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General all being Democrats as well, Virginia is firmly a "Blue State" and the Democratic Party can now pass any legislation or regulation on party line votes or through executive orders.  

The House is now represented by 55 Democrats and 45 Republicans.  The Senate is now represented by 21 Democrats and 19 Republicans.  This is a slim majority but Democrats have demonstrated remarkable party discipline over the years, so one should expect them to continue to vote as a single block.  The only variation on this count could result from a pending recount in HD83 where Delegate Chris Stolle trails his Democratic challenger by only 18 votes.  This is the same race where  a group started by New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg reportedly invested  $348,400 into the challenger's campaign - Nancy Guy.   Regardless of the outcome of this potential recount, it would only reduce the Democrats to a four seat majority in the House.

The House of Delegates election will also have another historic impact on the Commonwealth that has been somewhat overshadowed.  Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn, currently the House Minority Leader, is expected to become the first female Speaker of the House of Delegates in its 400 years of continuous operation. Regardless of one's politics, this is an impressive accomplishment.

The challenge for Virginia's business community is to determine how Democrats will use this new found power?

As the VMA has previously reported, a majority of House and Senate Democrats now oppose Virginia's Right-to-Work statute.  Now that they have the ability to overturn the 5th oldest Right-to-Work state in the U.S., will they?  Further, will they mandate a $15 minimum wage?  Will they repeal the " Dillon Rule" or confer additional taxing authority to local governments?  Will they create new taxes on electricity?  Will they create new taxes on fuel?  Will they pursue "free college for all"? Will they regulate the environment and businesses like California?

These are all valid questions that have been asked repeatedly by members over the last year.  However, there are mixed responses from senior Democrats because they have to consider the new progressive wing of their party. Senior Democrats are also conscious of how fast a majority can be lost.  The Virginia Senate has flipped between Democratic and Republican control several times in the last 20 years.  

For the VMA, the path forward is to be prepared, build coalitions, and aggressively advocate for foundational public policies that ensure  manufacturing competitiveness.  We have already helped to form the Coalition for a Strong Virginia Economy with a dozen other trade associations focused on protecting Virginia's Right-to-Work statute.  We are working with the American Chemistry Council on bipartisan efforts to reduce plastics pollution while increasing recycling for beneficial use.  We also expect a larger coalition effort to protect affordable and reliable energy through coordination with the  Consumer Energy Alliance.

Over the coming months, the VMA will be completing its 2020 Legislative Agenda.  We will be seeking bipartisanship and cooperation from a diverse group of leaders.  Let's hope that "The Virginia Way" was not swept away in the year's election.


Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO

2020 Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards
The Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards recognize successful and innovative efforts that improve Virginia's environment. The awards program is administered by DEQ in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation.  There are four broad categories of awards: 
  • Sustainability
  • Environmental Project
  • Land Conservation 
  • Virginia Outdoors Plan Implementation

Applications are now being accepted.  The application period will end at 5 p.m. on December 5, 2019.

For program details, visit the Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards webpage.   Please contact Meghann Quinn at (804) 698-4021 or Meghann.quinn@deq.virginia.gov if you have questions. 

MIBE Executive Roundtable & VMA Supply Chain Interviews

The VMA and MIBE Supply Base Committee will co-host the first MIBE Executive Roundtable in conjunction with the 5th Annual VMA Supply Chain Matchup Program.

Monday, November 18
Williamsburg Lodge Conference Center
310 S. England St.
Williamsburg, VA

Executive Roundtable Time: 10am-1pm
Supply-Chain Matchup Interviews - 1pm-5pm
Evening Reception - 5pm-7pm

Executive Roundtable
VMA Members are invited to participate in the first MIBE Executive Roundtable on Monday, November 18. The goal of this committee is to create an adaptable and flexible supply base that meets the current National Defense Strategy, is actively preparing to meet increased demands over the next five years, as well as anticipating the Navy's demands of 2030 (potentially 355 ships). During this first Roundtable, the group will identify and prioritize the contracting challenges and value-chain opportunities ahead of the ship building and repair industries as the first in a four-part series of Roundtables. Representatives should have a good understanding of their companies supply chain processes (i.e. Supply Chain Manager, Director of Procurement, etc.). Click below to register for the Executive Roundtable Meeting.

VMA Supply-Chain Matchup Program
The Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) is committed to expanding supply chain opportunities among Virginia companies. This includes reaching small businesses, as well as women, minority and veteran-owned businesses. This year, we are also partnering with the US Minority Business Development Agency, the VA Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity, GenEdge and the Regional MFG Institute of Maryland. Immediately following the Executive Roundtable meeting, companies will have an opportunity to conduct supplier interviews for products and services during 15-minute sessions beginning at 1pm. Your company does not have to participate in the Executive Roundtable in order to do the supply-chain interviews.  At the end of the supply-chain matchup interview exercise, participants are invited to attend a cocktail reception from 5pm-7pm. 

Please contact Kimberly Noonan at knoonan@vamanufacturers.com if you have questions. 

Virginia Competitiveness Forum & Women in MFG Recognition Luncheon

Tuesday, November 19
Williamsburg Lodge Conference Center
310 S. England Street
Williamsburg, Virginia

Join Virginia's top manufacturing executives, industry leaders and service providers to the manufacturing industry, to learn about best- practices, technologies and solutions that drive Virginia's manufacturing competitiveness in five major areas:
  • Business Climate
  • Workforce
  • Innovation
  • Infrastructure
  • Economic Strength
The program will examine the Commonwealth's competitiveness standing against other U.S. states and explore how to move Virginia forward. The VMA will also showcase the annual update to the Virginia Manufacturing Competitiveness Index as well as celebrate women in manufacturing which supports our goal of building the next generation of leaders that will assure the competitiveness of Virginia's 6,000 manufacturers.

Registration Fee: $155
Featured Speakers Include:

Are We Really #1 For Business?
Ted Abernathy, Economic Leadership LLC
Ted Abernathy will unveil the 2019 Competitiveness Index results, compare Virginia's results to other southern states as well as compare and contrast the updated Index to the new CNBC state rankings. 

Cyber Critical Infrastructure: Foreign Powers & U.S. Industry Risk
Dr. Allen Harper, Center for Cyber Excellence, Liberty University
Dr. Allen Harper will explore the evolving cyber security threat landscape, risk specific to manufacturing, common attach scenarios, and the importance of ethical hacking and offensive security.

The Power of Digital Manufacturing and the Future of Shipbuilding
Julia Jones, Director, Operations Integration, Newport News Shipbuilding

Julia Jones will discuss how digital manufacturing is transforming the manufacturing value chain, unlocking new sources of revenue by improving operational effectiveness, fast-tracking product innovation, and changing the manufacturing landscape forever. Ms. Jones will also give an overview of the Maritime Industrial Base Ecosystem (MIBE) which is an initiative designed to improve shipbuilding in Southeast Virginia and improve the workforce and maritime training pipelines.

Women in MFG Recognition Luncheon
The VMA will recognize 23 women from Virginia who have made outstanding contributions to our industry.   This year's keynote lunch speaker is Kristen Cavallo, CEO, The Martin Agency.

Kristen Cavallo, CEO, The Martin Agency
Kristen is a nationally known speaker. She brought over 25 years' experience growing high-octane brands, and in her first year at The Martin Agency eradicated the gender wage gap; tackled invisibility by making diversity a priority; and pulled culture-quaking ideas right out of the shadows for clients like OREO, GEICO, UPS and Buffalo Wild Wings.

This program is not to be missed!  For questions, please contact Kimberly Noonan at knoonan@vamanufacturers.com .  

Attend Under Your Corporate Sponsorship
If your company is a sponsor of this event, you may be able to attend for free under their corporate sponsorship. A complete list of sponsors is on our event website.  Please contact Kimberly Noonan at knoonan@vamanufacturers.com for details.

MTM-EasyTime - Free VMA Member Access Until December 31


VMA Group Benefits Plan Update

The VMA has been working for over 2 years to create an ERISA compliant Group Benefits Plan aimed at reducing healthcare costs, reducing administrative burdens, and creating market stability for members. The VMA created 1st Shift Inc. and has partnered with Anthem, McGriff Insurance Services and Benefits First to launch the VMA Group Benefits Plan. The Plan has competitive rates and is moving forward with a target effective date of 12/1/19. 

If you're interested in a rate quote or to learn more, please contact iginger@vamanufacturers.com.