Letter from the President & CEO
Dear Members,

Last month I announced our new political mobilization campaign - MFG Makes VA. Our focus is to mobilize our members, your employees and retirees, and your suppliers to support pro-manufacturing candidates for office this election. The stakes could not be higher: Right-to-Work, Energy Justice, Regulatory Fairness, and MFG Competitiveness are all on the line this election.

We continue to release new tools and resources weekly. This is the most powerful election resource that we have ever offered to the membership. MFG Makes VA has the following features:

In the next week, we will be adding videos of testimony from legislators to give you the "unvarnished truth" about where candidates stand on key issues.

So, now that we have built this robust resource, how can you help us achieve our goal of turning out 230,000 manufacturing and retiree votes?
  • First: Please distribute the MFG Makes VA press release to your workforce and retirees today.
  • Second: Share the link to MFG Makes VA with your entire workforce and retiree community weekly asking them to vote early, vote absentee, or vote on November 2.
  • Third: Make a contribution to the VMPAC to support pro-MFG candidates.
  • Finally: Send a personal message to 10 people in your professional network asking them to use MFG Makes VA and vote pro-MFG.

This election is critical to manufacturing competitiveness. We will either expedite the implementation of the failed policies of West Coast and New England states, or establish a new direction. Many House of Delegates and Statewide Office races will be determined by literally hundreds of votes. You and your network of professionals, employees, and retirees can make a difference in all the races we are watching.

Let's get engaged, get motivated, get MFG Makes VA distributed across the Commonwealth, and get out the vote!

Best Wishes,


Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO
Government Affairs - State & Federal Highlights
State Update: Virginia Department of Energy

Governor Ralph Northam announced the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy is now the Virginia Department of Energy (Virginia Energy). The name change was passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Northam in April 2021. It became official October 1st, 2021.

“Virginia is all-in on clean energy,” said Governor Northam. “We've passed one of the most sweeping clean energy laws in the country, and we are transitioning our electric grid to 100 percent clean energy. These are exciting changes, and they mean new jobs, new investment, cleaner air, and a stronger economy.” Read More >>>

Review the VMA's public comments on the Virginia Department of Energy's Decarbonization Plan, submitted October 13, here.
State Update: Coalition for Consumer Choices

RICHMOND, VA – The ‘Coalition for Consumer Choice's (Coalition) announced its expanded goals October 15th in response to Executive Order 77 (EO 77), which was issued by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in March 2021. The Coalition represents thousands of small businesses, retailers, manufacturers, and consumer advocates from across the Commonwealth whose employees and customers will be harmed by EO 77. The Coalition’s members will engage in a statewide effort to educate the general public, state agency procurement managers, and policymakers on EO 77’s extensive negative environmental, social, and economic impacts for Virginians. Read more >>>

Read a recent op-ed by VMA President & CEO, Brett Vassey, here.

View the original Coalition letter to Governor Northam on EO 77, delivered electronically on July 12, here.
COVID-19 - Federal & State Update

President Joe Biden's COVID-19 Plan includes calling on OSHA to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement a new requirement stating that all employers with 100 or more employees ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. 

In response, Attorney Generals from 24 states sent a letter to President Biden expressing their opposition of his private-sector COVID-19 vaccination mandate. Virginia did not participate.

According to recent data from the National Academy for State Health Policy, Virginia is one of nineteen states that require certain state employees to be vaccinated or undergo regular testing for COVID-19. Virginia's revised COVID-19 regulation was adopted on August 26, and Governor Northam reviewed the standard and made no suggested changes on September 2.
VMA's COVID-19 Vaccination Policy: “VMA and its member companies are committed to the health and safety of their employees, contractors, and suppliers. We also encourage vaccinations to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 virus but the ultimate decision to take the COVID-19 vaccine should be left between employers, workers, and their medical advisors. We recognize and respect the need for some businesses to mandate vaccination in part of or all of their operations.”
Federal Call to Action: Tell Congress to OPPOSE a Tax on Virginia’s Plastic Manufacturers & Consumers

Shine a Light on Hidden Taxes.

It's time we fix America's infrastructure. But instead of focusing on repairing our roads and bridges, some in Congress want to impose a new, hidden tax on plastic manufacturers, and spend the money on everything but infrastructure.
Federal Call to Action: Say "NO" to Tobacco Tax Increases

Congress wants you to pay more for tobacco products.

Congress wants to double the tax on cigarettes, increase the tax on pipe tobacco by 2,100%, and increase taxes on premium cigars by 1,000%. They also want to create the first ever federal tax on vape products, adding several dollars to the cost of each pod purchased. Tell them to find better ways to fund more government programs.
Federal Update: NAM Fights to
Preserve Tax Reform

There are three proposed tax changes, including one that is set to take effect at the end of this year and two put forward by the House Ways and Means Committee that have been proposed to help pay for the Build Back Better agenda.

  • A new EBIT standard: The 2017 tax reform law limited the business interest deduction to 30 percent of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. Starting in 2022, the deduction will be further limited to 30 percent of earnings before interest and tax.
  • New interest deductibility limitation: The House Ways and Means Committee's budget reconciliation bill would impose a worldwide leverage test, disallowing interest deductions on top of the scheduled EBIT change. Companies impacted by both this provision and the EBIT change would be forced to abide by whichever standard was the most limiting. This change would make the United States an outlier compared to other industrialized countries.
  • New carry-forward restrictions: Manufacturers are currently allowed to carry forward unused interest deductions into future years, ensuring that they can deduct interest over time. The House bill would cap carry-forwards at five years, which could permanently deny some interest deductions and ultimately result in a net tax increase for many businesses.

VMA signed on to a letter from NAM, manufacturing companies, and association partners addressed to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McCarthy, and Minority Leader McConnell requesting that they protect the 2017 tax reform law. Read more about NAM's efforts >>>
Federal Update: OSHA Guidance on Industrial Robot Systems

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in collaboration with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Association for Advancing Automation (A3), developed the updated Technical Manual, Section IV, Chapter 4, Industrial Robot Systems and Industrial Robot System Safety to provide technical information to Compliance Safety and Health Officers and others, who may be performing inspections at facilities with robot systems. This chapter is intended as a guide to robot systems found in industrial applications and covers the following areas:
  • A description of typical industrial robot systems including newer systems and technology
  • Hazards associated with robot systems
  • Safety considerations for employers and workers
  • Risk assessment and risk reduction methods
  • A summary of applicable OSHA and consensus industry standard requirements for design, operation and maintenance of robotic systems
Upcoming Conferences & Events
Webinar: What Industrial B2Bs Need to Know about Apple's Privacy Changes

October 27 | 2PM - 3PM

iOS 14.5 and iOS 15 brought about major changes to the digital landscape. Apple users are now able to opt out of app tracking and Apple email users can opt out of email tracking. What this means for industrial B2B marketers: targeting ads and emails for your audience is much more difficult. In this webinar, learn:

  • What the privacy changes are and what they mean for your digital campaigns
  • The results of the privacy changes we've seen play out so far in ads and email
  • How industrial B2Bs can adapt to this changing digital landscape
You can also view the recording from WebStrategies' 2022 Marketing Budgets for Industrial B2B Companies webinar here.
Webinar: Data Security – Why It’s Everyone’s Business

November 11 | 12PM - 1PM

Protect your business from data breaches that affect all companies, not just fortune 500 firms. Learn practical methods to reduce cyber liability risk. Attendees will leave with an understanding of cyber risk as it applies to their business and be eligible to receive a complimentary data breach risk assessment.
For information about VMA's Manufacturers Premiere insurance program, administered by Bankers Insurance, contact Kate Kapottos at kkapottos@vamanufacturers.com.
Upcoming Conference: 2021 Virginia MFG Competitiveness Forum & WiM Virginia Leadership Conference | November 16-17

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 and Economic Strength. We will also focus on the importance that women play in keeping manufacturing competitive in Virginia with professional development sessions, roundtable discussions on important topics, and inspiring keynotes.
Session Spotlight: Turning Legal Challenges into Opportunities

Presented by: John M. Huddle, CEO & Founder, The Global Law Group, PLC

This session will focus on a number of recent developments and enforcement initiatives that represent challenges to U.S. manufacturers, but which also provide an opportunity for competitive advantages if managed properly and proactively. Mr. Huddle will also highlight several other strategies and programs that may significantly increase profitability and competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers whose products are exported by others or who import goods.
Save the Date: VMA Annual Business Meeting

November 16 | 1:30PM - 3:00PM

Speakers: Jim Taylor, EHS&S Chair; Edwin Amerson, VCC Co-chair; David Lyons, Energy Co-chair; Nat Marshall, Workforce Solutions Chair; Kimberly Noonan, VMA Member Services; Brett Vassey, VMA

The VMA Annual Business Meeting is for members only. MFG Members and Associate Members will be briefed on the VMA 2022 Legislative Agenda, VMA Committee work, 2022 Member Services; 2021 Election; and vote for VMA Board of Directors.

Contact Kimberly Noonan for information on how to join this meeting.
Manufacturing Skills Institute
Embrace Safety During Manufacturing Month with OSHA 10 & OSHA 30

MSI now offers OSHA 10 & OSHA 30 Outreach Training through our partnership with UL, a global safety science leader.

Program Overview:
  • Available for U.S.-based employees under OSHA’s jurisdiction
  • Six months allocated to complete the training
  • 24/7 access to OSHA course material
  • Printable job aids available with each session
  • Access to professional safety training and support professionals
  • Printable diploma immediately available upon successful completion
  • OSHA card provided by the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Ability to earn IACET-approved CEUs: 1.0 (10-hour course) and 3.0 (30-hour course)

Visit msi.puresafety.com to learn more and register online today.
Additional Safety Training Opportunities:

Process Safety Management (PSM) Training: Comprehensive learning and development curriculum that helps mitigate the risk of catastrophic failure by building awareness and developing skill level capability around process safety. Learn more >>>

New Elective: Combustible Dust Course: Many employees do not realize the dangers of combustible dust, which can, under certain conditions, lead to a deadly fire or explosion. Alert employees to these hazards and help prevent dust explosions with Safety Matters: Combustible Dust. Citing examples and applications of combustible dust, the program helps them identify where combustible dust can be found, understand and prevent dust explosions, recognize the value of hazard assessments, adopt preventive and control measures, and complete training requirements.

Contact Jody Steele for information on how to implement these additional training opportunities into your safety program!
Women in Manufacturing (WiM) Virginia Chapter
WiM Virginia Mentoring Program - Now Accepting Applications!

The mission of the WiM Virginia Chapter Mentoring Program is to help develop our members by providing them with the knowledge and leadership skills that will empower them to realize their full potential. We're now accepting applications to kick off the second cohort of our program in January 2022.

Are you ready to:
  • Make lasting industry connections and broaden your support network;
  • Focus on your career development and personal growth goals; and
  • Develop the tools necessary to perform at your highest capabilities?

We are currently accepting applications for mentors and mentees. Applications are due by November 15th and there is no cost to participate.

We're especially excited to announce that up to $15,000 in scholarship money will be awarded in 2022 to mentees who are participating in this program. Scholarships can be used to participate in one of the WiM National Educational Programs as well as access training on the WiM-VA/MSI Virtual Learning Center. Share the Mentoring Program link with your network and contact Kimberly Noonan with questions about scholarships!
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 to view pricing and details. Contact Kate Kapottos to request more information on any of the Microsoft programs.
VMAConnections Webinar Library

As part of the VMA's Lunch 'n Learn Series, we record and upload all monthly webinars to the VMAConnections webinar library. We also curate and share webinars hosted by our Associate Members, who are strong supporters of Virginia's manufacturing industry. Check out the latest recordings here, including:

Manufacturing News
James City County Unveils Pilot Glass Recycling Program

Starting today, Sept. 22, James City County (JCC) residents who regularly use the county recycling convenience centers will notice a brand new bin in which to drop off their glass bottles.

The bins, which are painted a bright purple, are the start of a pilot program in which the county partnered with Owens-Illinois (O-I), a world-wide glass manufacturer, in an effort to promote recycling and sustainability in the county. Read more >>>

Learn more about Glass4Good here.
Mohawk Group Signs The Climate Pledge

Mohawk Group has signed The Climate Pledge, a sustainability-driven effort originally cofounded by Amazon and Global Optimism in 2019. Mohawk Group joins over 200 signatories, including Interface, that are also committed to accelerated climate action. 

By signing the pledge, Mohawk Group agrees to incorporate several climate-sensitive strategies, including a commitment to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions regularly, neutralize remaining emissions with permanent and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040, and implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement. Read More >>>

Mohawk presented during our VEHS session "Industry Innovations in Recycling: The Ultimate in Sustainability." To view that session, or any other session, contact Kimberly Noonan.
De Lune IT presented its patented Malcam technology during our VEHS Conference in September. Malcam assists organizations in effectively managing and detecting moisture through microwave analyzer technology that measures internal moisture and density variations in the material at any given point during the manufacturing process. This accurate, reliable, non-destructive, and non-contact method - provided in real time - helps ensure high quality of products at reduced costs.
The technology has been helping businesses streamline production, guarantee quality, reduce customer rejection, and increase profitability for over 25 years. With over 1,000 installations worldwide, De Lune IT has developed a unique knowhow and expertise in many different industries. The ROI of Malcam has almost always been less than a year, which makes it a great investment. 
Contact Sachin Munasinghe to learn more, and take a moment to watch the below video to learn about the benefits of Malcam.
Virginia 500: The 2021 Power List - MFG Leaders
For the rest of 2021, VMA is recognizing the manufacturing leaders honored in Virginia Business' Virginia 500: The 2021 Power List. Follow us on Twitter for weekly shout-outs to the people that make Virginia's manufacturing industry the strongest it can be! Here's who we've recognized so far:
Request for Assistance: Microsoft Dynamics
Help us optimize our member services!

The VMA is seeking someone proficient in Microsoft Dynamics to assist us in developing customized data analytics reports and webforms to better support members. If you know of someone who could help with this project, please contact Kelly Stevens at kstevens@vamanufacturers.com.