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

Virginia Manufacturer's Association

In This Issue

Upcoming VMA Committee Meetings
Upcoming VMA Events

Virginia Competitiveness Forum 
2nd Annual VMA STEP Ahead Award 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 

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VOLUME 9 | Edition 9 | September 2019
Letter from the President & CEO

Dear Members:

It is hard to believe that summer is over, fall is around the corner and election season is upon us.  In the coming weeks the VMA will be holding its fall member Committee meetings and celebrating MFG Day.  These events lead up to the annual Virginia Competitiveness Forum where we will release the 3rd Edition of the Virginia MFG Competitiveness Index.

The VMA will also be publishing its annual   VA Legislative Competitiveness Scorecard and "Get Out the Vote" materials in the next few weeks.  The "Scorecard" specifically highlights all members of the General Assembly that vote 80+% of the time with the VMA position and we award the coveted VMAPAC Industrial Strength Leadership Award to the top 3 scores in the Virginia House and Senate.

These tools are intended to educate members on the votes and public policies of your General Assembly so that you can make informed decisions about how to engage your employees and take political action.  This election is not one to observe, the entire House of Delegates and Senate are up for election and the stakes are high.  The Democrats are the minority party in both chambers but they have raised $3.4 million from out of state donors for this election.  This represents 15% of their total funds raised as compared to 12% or $2.4 million from out of state sources for Republicans.  

However, the distinctions between campaign fund sources gets even clearer when one analyzes business support.  Democrats have received $3.9 million (17% of total funds) and Republicans have received $7.1 million (36% of total funds) from business. Further, Democrats have received nearly $1 million from organized labor alone.  With the more progressive candidates and incumbents, there is going to be an expectation to overturn Virginia's Right-to-Work law, institute paid family leave, pursue some form of the " Green New Deal," and/or increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour.  These are just two issues that are at play in this next election.

If you are unsure of how deep these priorities have become embedded into Democratic politics, just compare the Green New Deal's priority of  "100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources" to Governor Northam's Executive Order 43.  Or, review the Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources final report to Governor Northam on Executive Order 6.
Regardless of which political party is in power, the VMA works to assure that Virginia's manufacturing sector is competitive.  The foundational public policies upon which we have built this $43 billion manufacturing sector of the economy will be challenged and we must be ready.  In today's political environment, the best tactic to utilize in political mobilization is to engage employees and empower them to communicate directly with incumbents and candidates. 

The time for manufacturing political action is now.


Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO

MTM-EasyTime - Free VMA Member Access Until December 31


VMA Women in MFG Leadership Council - Leadership Education

The VMA Women in MFG Leadership Council is dedicated to providing continuing education and training opportunities to women who have chosen a career in industry. Through our partnership with UVA and the Darden Foundation, the VMA has secured a limited number of complimentary seats for members to an upcoming workshop.   

If you are interested in attending this workshop, please contact Kimberly Noonan at Knoonan@vamanufacturers.com. Seats are first come - first serve.


71st Virginia Conference on World Trade - November 12-13

Fall For Fitness with TicketsatWork!


You're in the home stretch to year's end.  Now is the time to create fitness habits to keep you strong.  Fall through Winter.  Choose from 10,000+ fitness centers with flexibility to change any time, for just $25/mo and no long term contracts.  Details are available on the TicketsatWork website.

The TicketsatWork Program discount program is available to all VMA members. It only takes 2 minutes to sign up for this complimentary perk using  the exclusive VMA Company Code - VMA2017.   Your Member Benefits just got better!

STEP Ahead Nominations Close - October 4

Are there women at your company who deserves recognition and whose story can encourage others to follow their lead?

Your company can nominate an outstanding female in manufacturing for a STEP Ahead or Emerging Leader Award.  The  2020 STEP Ahead Awards Nominations Guide includes helpful information to get started.   

New 2020 Changes
There are two important changes to the 2020 application process:
  • A maximum of 10 applications may be submitted by a single company.
  • Companies are encouraged to have one (1) point of contact for nominations. See best practices beginning on page 11 within the Nominations Guide for strategies to streamline internal processes.
The nomination period will close on October 4. 

VMA Women in MFG Recognition Luncheon - November 19

Join the VMA on November 19 at the Williamsburg Lodge Conference Center, Williamsburg VA, for the 2019 STEP Ahead Award luncheon to recognize Virginia women who have been nominated for the STEP Ahead & Emerging Leader Awards.
Tuesday, November 19
Williamsburg Lodge Conference Center
310 S. England Street
Williamsburg, Virginia

The luncheon will take place in conjunction with the Virginia Competitiveness Forum.  This year's keynote speaker is Kristen Cavallo, CEO, The Martin Agency.

Kristen Cavallo, CEO, The Martin Agency
Kristen is a national know speaker. She brought over 25 years' experience hacking growth for 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.

For questions and sponsorship opportunities at this event, please contact Kimberly Noonan at knoonan@vamanufacturers.com .  Register today using the link below.

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.

Room Block Information
A block of rooms have been secured at the Williamsburg Lodge for a rate of $169 per night.  Guests can contact the reservation line at 1-800-261-9530 to make reservations by phone or online at https://book.passkey.com/go/1810952.  Please mention that you are with the "VA Competitiveness Forum and Women in MFG" when making your reservation to receive the discounted rate. The conference reservations office is open Monday-Friday, 8:30-5:00.   The cut-off date for room reservations is October 18.

Industry Today: Fixing Your Workers Skills Gap With AR

By 2025, over 2M skilled manufacturing jobs will go unfilled.  Do you have a strategy for managing the skills crisis?

As workforces age into retirement, operations globalize, and products grow increasingly complex, manufacturers are facing a skills crisis.  In the face of these challenges, traditional methods for worker on-boarding and up-skilling are no longer sufficient.

Enter industrial augmented reality.  Offering the ability to overlay contextual, real-time information onto physical assets and environments - AR is proving to be an invaluable asset for workers across all skills levels.

Click here to view " Closing the Industrial Skills Gap with Augumented Reality" to discover how companies are using AR to grow their workforce and cultivate expertise.

Celebrate MFG Day - October 4
Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) is coming soon, on Friday, October 4.

Each year on MFG Day and throughout the month of October, thousands of companies nationwide open their doors to show what careers in modern manufacturing really look like firsthand.

By hosting events that include tours of facilities, innovation centers, or locally organized gatherings, companies are able to showcase to their community the diversity of paths and opportunities in modern manufacturing.  Students, teachers, parents, and others are fascinated to see what's being made nearby.

If you are thinking about hosting an event,  check out the host toolkit available at www.mfgday.com.   Our goal is to have 100 events across the Commonwealth during the October 4 week.

Join the following companies who have already committed to MFG Day events:

- Design Ready Controls
- Green Bay Packaging
- Integer
- Kingspan

- Kollmorgen
- Masco Cabinetry
- Son Metal Fab
- Winchester Metals

View the complete list of events at https://www.mfgday.com/events.