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CEO Corner

VMEC Director & CEO, Bob Zider, to retire in June
Bob Zider has announced his planned retirement on June 30, 2021 after 25+ years with the Center. At a VMEC Board meeting held April 13, VMEC's new Director & CEO, beginning July 1, was unanimously confirmed by vote of the VMEC Board and VMEC's federal partner, NIST MEP.  Read the complete press release here.

Innovation, Growth and Technology Acceleration

UR Robotic Workcell Research Collaboration Opportunity - VT Manufacturers with UR Robots are invited to participate in this paid study! FuzeHub (a "sister" MEP National Network Center in New York State) is seeking manufacturers to collaborate on testing a robotic workcell health assessment method, developed through research by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This project involves the temporary installation of small hardware and a short daily system diagnostic test. The daily test can be run automatically, with minimal impact on operations. The goal is to assess this methodology in real-world manufacturing settings over a 6-month period, with up to $10,000 available to compensate each partner for their cooperation.

Full details on this exciting opportunity can be found at this link. For further information, contact Patricia Giavara, VMEC Assistant Director, at (802) 279-6103 or pgiavara@vmec.org.

Operational Excellence and Continuous Improvement

New England Regional Defense Industry Collaboration (NERDIC) will deliver a series of Industry 4.0 Readiness workshops and demonstrations to showcase how emerging technologies can be used to help optimize manufacturing processes in the New England defense manufacturing supply chain. This program, which includes generative design, additive manufacturing, and augmented reality, aims to help increase capability and competitiveness for the region’s defense manufacturers. 

Beginning April 20 and concluding June15, these weekly, complimentary workshops and demonstrations will support small and medium sized defense-related businesses to continually build the new skills and capabilities that are emerging as requirements for pursuing business from higher tier contractors in the defense supply chain. Visit our Upcoming Training page or the CCAT/ NERDIC program site to read more about the program series and register.

Workforce Strategies and Talent Development

Upcoming Training See what we're offering you and your employees this spring and beyond! Don't see what you're looking for on our schedule? Contact Robynn Albert, VMEC Marketing and Training Manager (ralbert@vmec.org or (802) 793-2078), to see how we can help you and your team in your company's training needs. 

Some highlights are listed below - Be sure to visit our Training page to view our complete schedule and register today!

COVID-19 Vaccination in the Workplace forum, April 29 Join us for an informative and important discussion as it relates to the health of your business organization and its employees! In this free forum, we will look at Vermont’s vaccination progress to date, public health recommendations as they relate to quarantine and gathering for fully vaccinated people as well as current Vermont guidance for business sectors, travel and gatherings. From a legal standpoint, panelists will discuss workplace vaccination policy considerations, guidance if the vaccine will be mandated, requesting proof of COVID-19 vaccination, and best practices for communicating with employees about these policies.

Supervisor Training, May 5 - June 2 Let us help you create and maintain positive working relationships with your employees Whether you are experienced or new to leadership, this training provides an introduction to proven methods along with practical experience and coaching related to a project from your work.  Gain confidence, stability and adaptability in your role!  

Root Cause Analysis – The Structures of Problem Solving, June 3 - 17 If you’ve been seeking a way to lead your organization to reduced downtime, increased production and a more proactive culture, this is for you! RCA helps organizations avoid the tendency to single out one factor to arrive at the fastest resolution. It also helps to avoid treating symptoms rather than actual, underlying problems that contribute to the real problem. Who should attend? Anyone whose job it is to solve their company’s problems!   

TWI JR (Job Relations), June 7 - 11 Effectively solving people-related problems are critical skills for anyone in a leadership role This course can help manufacturers who are facing workforce challenges caused or made worse by the global pandemic.  Our TWI JR training addresses one of the most challenging parts of the supervisor's job - establishing and maintaining good supervisor-employee relations and dealing with problems when they arise.

VMEC Job Opportunities We have two great opportunities for well-qualified individuals to join our high performance team. We are seeking a Professional Manufacturing and Business Growth Advisor and an Advanced Manufacturing Technology Advisor. Visit our Job Opportunities page to view the complete position descriptions.

Cybersecurity Training Workshops: How to Implement NIST 800-171 Requirements April 27 - June 8, 8:00 am - 12 Noon, Zoom meeting

Meet your NIST 800-171 compliance obligations as a prime or subcontract manufacturer for the defense industry by participating in the Cybersecurity Training Workshops, presented by your New England MEP Centers through the New England Regional Defense Industry Collaboration (NERDIC). This workshop webinar series provides a comprehensive cyber threat overview, guidance on risk management planning, steps for policies and procedures documentation, and details to include in a system security plan.

For further information on this valuable opportunity, please contact Patricia Giavara, VMEC Assistant Director, at (802) 279-6103 or pgiavara@vmec.org.

Resources for VT Manufacturers

Manufacturing USA Rapid Response to COVID-19 Report The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we live and work. This newly released special report highlights how 9 institutes in the Manufacturing USA network worked with 91+ partners across 24 states and Puerto Rico on 36 manufacturing innovation projects to combat COVID-19.

MEP National Network Impact Overview By the Numbers Read here how the MEP National Network (50 states and Puerto Rico) interacted with 27,574 manufacturers, created or retained over 105,000 jobs, achieved over $13 billion in new or retained sales and so much more in 2020!

Partner Events Check out what a few of our partners are offering!

Stay Safe, Stay Strong, Stay Open! 
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Contact us at (802) 728-1432, 
vmec@vmec.org or connect with your
VMEC Business Advisor at this link

Vermont's Trusted Advisor 
and Go-To Resource for Manufacturing