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

Virginia Manufacturer's Association

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VMA Member Committees
VOLUME 10 | EDITION 2 | January 2017

Letter from the President & CEO

Dear Members:

Welcome to the first Virginia Manufacturer issue of the year.  This issue sets the stage for our legislative session and major events calendar for the year.  I'd also like to give some insight into association services that we are planning.  Team VMA is incredibly excited about 2017 and look forward to working with you to make Virginia the best place in the United States to manufacture world-class products.

The Virginia General Assembly begins its 45 day "short session" today.  We project that there will be approximately 3,000 bills introduced this year and 500 will affect industrial businesses directly or indirectly.  We also expect to have ten (10) priority bills introduced dealing with everything from machinery and tools tax assessments to international trade.  The VMA 2016-2017 Legislative Agenda is at http://vamanufacturers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/VMA-2016-17-Legislative-Agenda.pdf and all VMA tracked legislation is available at http://vamanufacturers.com/advocacy/key-virginia-legislation/.  You will be getting requests from us periodically to contact your legislators or key members of the General Assembly to support our priority bills because there is no substitute for constituent requests.

Speaking of requests, the staff has been busy overhauling our events and conferences for the year.  We are making a substantial investment in expediting itineraries and keynote speakers so that members can better plan their travel.  We have also developed some new partnerships, programs and services that will be regularly featured through a monthly "Lunch & Learn" webinar series on topics ranging from OSHA reporting to workforce development.  This is an exciting development for us because members have been asking for more web-based content.

We are also excited to announce that the VMA will begin a rebranding program this year culminating in a new website and member portal.  We will also be refreshing our social media resources and enhancing our publications.  Overall, it is part of our strategic plan to significantly improve our communications resources with members and the public.

Finally, the Board of Directors will continue its Vision 2020 strategic planning, including the Manufacturing Skills Institute Vision 2020 fundraising campaign started last year.  I am also pleased to announce that an essential element of our strategic planning will be the development of the Manufacturing Competitiveness Strategy that will guide our legislative and regulatory work over the next five years.  It will be a strategic, tactical and measurable plan of how Virginia can improve its competitiveness in over 40 areas.  So, it's a good time to join a VMA Committee and help advise the Board on our priorities.

On behalf of the Board and Staff, thank you for investing your time, talent and resources in the only statewide association exclusively dedicated to manufacturing, industrial businesses and their allies.
Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO

Day on the Hill - February 6


VMA's Day on the Hill is scheduled for February 6 at the Library of Virginia.  The day will begin with a Kickoff Breakfast at 8am.  The keynote speaker will be The Honorable Ralph Northam, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, as well as guest speaker Stephen Moret, President and CEO, Virginia Economic Development Partnership.  

VMA Day on the Hill represents an opportunity for members and allies to educate our legislators about issues facing manufacturing as well as thank them for their support.  Meetings have been scheduled with key legislators and posted on our VMA Day on the Hill website.  Members will use these meetings to build relationships and help legislators make informed decisions.  Member participation is key to the success of this event.  Visit our VMA Day on the Hill website for event details and register today.  

First Graduating Class from WWRC's New Manufacturing Technology Training Program

On December 9th, the first class from the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center's (WWRC) new Manufacturing Technology Training program graduated.  Approximately seven hundred people applauded as the students took the stage.  All graduates from WWRC have varying degrees of disability and were referred to WWRC by the DARS (Department for Aging and Rehabilitation) offices located throughout the Commonwealth.  
This newest curriculum at WWRC embodies 'stackable' certifications including the Career Readiness Certificate (silver or higher), the OSHA10 certification, Forklift Training certificate, and the MS (Manufacturing Specialist) and MT1 (Manufacturing Technician Level 1©) certifications which are recognized by the VMA as valuable industry credentials for those seeking employment in Advanced Manufacturing.
The curriculum includes a broad spectrum of manufacturing skill sets and academic rigor including business math, chemistry, spatial analysis and print reading, electricity, fluid mechanics including hydraulics and pneumatics as well as Quality including LEAN manufacturing and DMAIC.  Life skills training is also given allowing the client to learn the valuable skills required for team social dynamics and the 'soft skills' which are necessary to be a productive employee in today's fast pace environment. Multiple manufacturing facilities are visited during the training to give a better linkage between what the students are learning and how it is applied in an actual plant. 
The recognition of the efforts put forth by these first MT1 graduates in manufacturing technology at WWRC could be seen in the emotions of their parents and friends.  They recognized the hard work these WWRC clients exhibited in achieving their goal of becoming MT1 certified as they now move into the next stage of their lives.   
"Labor's monuments and statues are when a young person can find a job, when a person with disability can get access to the ordinary life that others take for granted". ...Bill Shorten

MREI Export Opportunity: Trade Mission Grant

Metro Richmond Exports Initiative (MREI) is in search of local businesses interested in participating in an upcoming VEDP international trade mission.  There are a number of grants that will cover the $2,500 trade mission registration fee for qualified trade mission attendees - businesses are only responsible for travel costs. Participation in a trade mission can be a game-changer for the right company.

Benefits from participating in the VEDP trade mission include:
  • Assistance identifying which international market is best suited for your product or service
  • In-country support to identify the best potential customers and partners
  • Scheduled one-on-one meetings with prospective customers and partners
  • Translation services and culture coaching where necessary
Interested businesses do not need to know where they would like to travel (VEDP can help them through that process), but should be ready to spend a week abroad and have the capability (or the ability to develop the capacity) to fill international orders. This opportunity is for businesses who produce both services and goods.
If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Grace Festa ( gfesta@grpva.com) or Kimberly Noonan ( knoonan@vamanufacturers.com) directly. Companies must travel by the end of June to qualify.

OSHA Recordkeeping Webinar - Hosted by RCM&D

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 11AM to 12PM EST

Employers with more than 10 employees are required to keep a record of serious work-related injuries and illnesses. Each February through April, employers must post a summary of the injuries and illnesses recorded the previous year. This information will help you and your workers, along with OSHA, to evaluate the safety of your workplace, understand industry hazards, and implement worker protections to reduce and eliminate hazards - preventing future workplace injuries and illnesses.

With the posting period about to begin, this webinar will answer several important questions about the OSHA 300 log, including:
  • How do I determine if a workplace injury needs to be recorded on the log?
  • How do I complete the log?
  • What if I have multiple locations?
  • Do I need to maintain a separate log for each location?

The webinar will be hosted by RCM&D risk consultant Christina Childs.  If you have any questions about this webinar please contact Katie Caple at (410) 427.6430.