2018 Competitiveness Forum

2018 Competitiveness Forum
Workforce Symposium

Tuesday, November 13 & Wednesday, November 14
Kingsmill Resort
1010 Kingsmill Road
Williamsburg, VA 23185

This year’s Competitiveness Forum, Workforce Symposium and Supply Chain Matchup Program will be held at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg.   The cost for members to attend this two day conference is $275.  The non-member price for both days is $375.  Attendees can register online here.

4th Annual Supply Chain Matchup Program SPONSORED By SunTust Bank

Companies attending the conference can participate in the 4th Annual Supply Chain Matchup Program on November 13 & 14 for free.  If your company would like to participate in the Supply Chain Interviews “only”, there is a $50 registration fee.  Interviews will be scheduled in 15 minutes windows and you can choose to participate on both days, or just one day.  Companies must register to participate and all online registrations must be submitted by 12PM on November 2, 2018.  Click here for more information and to register your company.

Conference Program Details:

Tuesday, November 13
MSI Workforce Symposium – 9AM-4:30PM
The Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI) is developing its first national Symposium with a theme of “Workforce: The Competitive Edge” and drawing on Manufacturers from 19 states.  We will also include Economic Developers and Educators (including University, Community College,  High School CTE/STEM/Vocational Rehab instructors, administrators and counselors).  Best practices and ideas from manufacturers, agencies and schools will be showcased in a way that is designed to get each of these groups to move out of their silos and collaborate with their peers in other organizations.

Speakers include:

  • Atif Qarni, Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Deon Clark, President, TCI Solutions
  • Lunch Speaker: What A Woman Wants…@ Work – Sara Potecha 

Sara Potecha is a renowned speaker and author.  Sara will join us to share the critical leadership techniques she learned as one on the first women to graduate from West Point.  She will relay firsthand knowledge of how the skills women bring to the workplace are necessary in a 21st century economy for all businesses.  Sara will reflect on the techniques needed to hire talented women and retain them in a manufacturing workplace.  Her new book West Point Women: How Character is Created and Leadership is Learned will be available on Amazon Fall 2018.  She will have her first book available and will sign any editions which are bought at the Workforce Symposium.  About the author and book >>

VMA 96th Annual Membership Meeting (Members Only) – 4:30PM – 5:30PM

Manufacturing Makes Virginia Reception & Trade Show in Prefunction Hall – 5:30PM – 7PM

Members Dinner at Virginia Beer Company Co-hosted by Kaufman & Canoles – 7PM-9PM  – CLICK HERE TO RSVP

Wednesday, November 14
Competitiveness Forum – 9AM-4:30PM

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.  The program will examine the Commonwealth’s competitiveness standing against other US states and explore how to move Virginia forward.  The VMA will also showcase the annual update to the Virginia Manufacturing Competitiveness Index.   The Virginia Competitiveness Forum is an opportunity to engage in continuous improvement, collaborate with peers, and celebrate the future of Virginia manufacturing.

Featured Speakers include:

  • Nanci Hardwich, Aeroprobe CEO – MELD 3D Technology – MELD has development a new 3D Technology that creates metal components instead of plastic.  The printer uses a combination of friction and pressure to get metals hot enough to deform, but not hot enough to melt.
  • Kim Nollner, Channel Sales Manager – Robotiq InnovationRobotiq offers Plug + Play components for collaborative robots that are easy to use.  The Robotiq tools and methodologies simplify applications so manufacturers can start production faster.
  • 1st Annual VMA STEP Award Recognition Luncheon – This years featured speaker is Erin Kane, President & CEO, AdvanSix.

WORKSHOP: 503 AND ME: What Is It And How Do You Make It Work – 9AM-12PM
Conference attendees will have an opportunity to attend a 503 workshop on Wednesday morning before rejoining the group at noon for the 1st Annual VMA STEP Awards Recognition Luncheon.  This workshop will provide an overview of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended and Section 503 which covers federal contractors and their affirmative action strategies for recruiting, hiring and retaining employees with disabilities. It will also include practical strategies and resources for making it work in your company as well as examples of how other businesses have used Section 503 to increase their hiring of a diverse talent pool that includes individuals with disabilities.  The workshop instructor will be Kathleen West-Evans, MPA, CRC, Director of Business for CSAVR (Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation).  The cost is $50 per person.  Participants will receive .3 RUs after successfully completing this workshop.  Click here to register for this workshop.  Once you have successfully registered, you will receive additional information regarding payment instructions.

Exhibitor & Sponsorship Opportunities

If you would like to sponsor or exhibit at this event, please contact Kimberly Noonan at Knoonan@vamanufacturers.com.

Room Block Information

A block of rooms have been secured at Kingsmill Resort for a rate of $179 per night.  Guests can contact the reservation line at 1-800-832-56657 or (757) 253-1703 (select option 1) to make reservations by phone or use their online reservation site.  Please mention that you are with the Virginia Manufacturers Association Annual Meeting when making your reservation to receive the discounted rate.   The cut-off date for room reservations is October 29.

Thanks to this year’s Sponsors!

Platinum Sponsors


Gold Sponsors​


Silver Sponsors








Bronze Sponsors


Break Sponsors