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As of June 14, 2021, more than 80% of eligible Vermonters have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and Governor Phil Scott has authorized the move to Step 4 of the Vermont Forward Plan, lifting business, gathering, and travel related restrictions, nearly two weeks ahead of schedule.

On June 8, 2021, the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Agency (VOSHA) distributed a memo including recommendations to Vermont employers on workplace safety as it relates to COVID-19. Read the full memo or download the PDF version. Additionally federal OSHA has also issued guidance.

Looking for online Workplace Safety Training? VOSHA no longer requires Vermont employers to provide its previously required safety training to employees in order for them to return to the workplace. Employers looking for more assistance are encouraged to contact the VOSHA team.

Updated Policy (effective June 15, 2021) – based on VOSHA’s June 8, 2021 Workplace Safety Top 10 Recommendations Relating to COVID-19 memo and VT Governor Phil Scott’s June 14, 2021 announcement of VT Forward Plan Step 4.

Innovation, Growth and Technology Acceleration

Barry Hulce hired as VT-MC Executive Director at VT Tech The Vermont Manufacturing Collaborative (VT-MC), managed by Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center, has hired Barry Hulce as its Executive Director.

Hulce comes to the college with 25 years experience in manufacturing including the areas of Industry 4.0, advanced manufacturing, technology innovation and product development. Hulce founded a manufacturing company, led operations, managed engineering departments, and has been a practicing engineer over the course of his diverse career. Read the entire press release at this link.

A VMEC Partner Job Opportunity - Advanced Manufacturing Lab Director The Vermont Manufacturing Collaborative (VT-MC), managed by Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center, is immediately seeking a Laboratory Director for its new Advanced Manufacturing Lab nearing completion late this summer. The Lab will be equipped with state-of-the–art, Additive Manufacturing (AM) equipment focused on manufacturing-scale metal and polymer AM. Reporting directly to the Executive Director of VT-MC, this individual will provide technical expertise, supervision, operations and maintenance planning and scheduling at the Lab. For the full job description and to apply, click here

What is MATTR?  Through our partnership with NIST MEP, VMEC can offer its clients a valuable, unique service that enables direct access to wide-ranging, world-class technical expertise available at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) research laboratories and user facilities.  When the solution is not found at NIST, the MATTR service, through VMEC, will try to provide the SMM with guidance on where they might find useful non-NIST solutions. Read more at this link.

Operational Excellence and Continuous Improvement

10 Best Practices for Implementation of Lean Manufacturing Many growing businesses have and continue to implement cutting edge strategies that require Lean manufacturing. Read about 10 Lean Practices to improve productivity, eliminate waste, decrease many expenses, optimize efficiency, and improve customer and worker satisfaction.   

Industry 4.0 Technology Demos Beginning on June 22 and continuing throughout the summer, each Tuesday, New England Regional Defense Industry Collaboration (NERDIC) and VMEC will deliver a series of Industry 4.0 Readiness technology demonstrations. These offerings will 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. Sign up today for one or more sessions in the series!

Metal Additive Manufacturing: What You Need to Know Additive manufacturing has transformed the manufacturing industry since its commercial inception in the late 20th century. As additive processes continue to take the industry by storm, Metal AM and numerous applications of the process are moving to the forefront of manufacturing for production. Read the full blog post here, courtesy of our sister MEP Center in California (CMTC) and connect with VMEC for more information to learn how this technology might be useful for you and your organization.

Measure What Matters How does it happen that there is such a large variation in measures used in businesses? For the most part, there are common measures found in almost all organizations, such as On-time Delivery, Profit Margin, and Customer Satisfaction. At some companies it is clear the measures were put in place as problems happened, so it’s more a matter of reaction than intention. Read the complete blog here.

Workforce Strategies and Talent Development

Upcoming Training See what we're offering you and your employees this summer! 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. 

You’ve hired great people…now learn how to keep them! 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021
10:00 - 11:00 am
FREE! Zoom meeting

Join us to learn how culture paradigms (the importance of meeting employees where they are in life), trust in leadership (do what you say you are going to do and be authentic) and practical benefits which include idea sharing and new work models can get you on your own innovative retention path.  Register today!

NEW! Noontime Knowledge series! Consider adding a snippet of value-adding learning to your lunch time. Join us for topics that are near and dear to VMEC Advisors' hearts and likely yours, too. This summer, we will bring you a wide range of subjects that cover many areas of VMEC expertise, such as Innovation Engineering, Lean Management Systems, Quality, Cybersecurity, Continuous Improvement, Training Within Industry (TWI) and Export Sales. Check back on our Training page soon for this series posting!

Vermont Talent Pipeline Manufacturing Collaborative Survey VTPM is conducting a hiring needs assessment. Please respond to their 1 minute questionnaire to participate confidentially in the talent assessment about hiring and upskilling your future workforce. All information and data will be aggregated and summarized by VTPM for impactful use in developing education, funding, and incentives for labor force entry.

New England Council Briefing on Supply Chain Security, June 22, webinar Join the New England Council and the MITRE Corporation for a complimentary discussion of Supply Chain Security and the “System of Trust” framework for software and acquisitions supply chains. MITRE has developed a comprehensive framework to assess risk across industries’ supply chains, created for software supply chains and intended to be transferable across industries. Registration for this event is open to all.

Hosted by Polaris (the Rhode Island MEP Center) with presentation delivery by CONNSTEP (the CT MEP Center), join this exciting webinar on Cyber Threat Intelligence. The free event will feature FireEye, the premier provider of threat intelligence. They will present a threat intelligence report focused on the defense industrial base. The event will also feature the National Guard discussing resources for responding to incidents and a panel that will connect the threats to companies risk management including the importance of Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC); register here.

Maintaining Your Online Privacy It might not be the most important subject on your mind when running your business, but online privacy is becoming increasingly important as we move closer to a fully internet-connected world. Read this valuable NIST blog post today.
Resources for VT Manufacturers

MEP National Network™ Reports Available NIST MEP has compiled a site with recent reports and studies about manufacturing policy and practice. Inclusion of a report in this compilation is not indicative of NIST MEP support, but rather an attempt to provide a resource where different reports and studies about manufacturing can be located. Topical areas include Best Practices, Capital and Cost, Current State of Manufacturing, Education and Workforce Federal and Industry Collaboration and much more.

Vermont Manufacturing Data Dashboard - Reminder! This winter, VMEC unveiled the Vermont Manufacturing Data Dashboard. This informative dashboard was created to primarily provide a snapshot with independent and objective data on how the state's manufacturing sector is performing. It also includes trend data and general economic data for Vermont. Created and maintained through an agreement involving VMEC's federal partner, NIST MEP, and two national non-profits, the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) and The State Science and Technology Institute (SSTI), the new dashboard is automatically updated by CREC on a regular basis. 

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

Post Needs and Find Opportunities on MXVT.org Click here to join an existing forum or suggest a new one!

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