Providing Systems and Solutions to help
Vermont Manufacturers Innovate, Plan, Perform and Grow


Season's Greetings! 

Thank you for your interest in our periodic E-News Briefs from VMEC. We cover a range of topics for manufacturers and other enterprises that desire to learn and implement systems and solutions to accelerate sustainable and profitable growth marked by performance excellence.  

To submit feedback, comments or suggest future content, e-mail 

Thank you!

February 16 & 17, 2016
8 am - 5 pm 
VTC Randolph campus, Randolph Center, VT

Don't miss this opportunity to Learn HOW to Innovate to Grow Sales & Profits from your Farm, Food or Wood Products Business! 

VMEC is hosting a special two-day "Innovation Engineering Experience" training event geared specifically towards working lands enterprises - agriculture, food production, forest and wood products businesses.  Join us to learn how to GROW your ideas into Profitable Products or Services.  This specialized training will help you go from defining your strategic mission to having a tested idea ready to pitch to new or existing customers. Plus, you will have VMEC support and coaching before, during and after the event to help you complete your project.  Through support from a Working Lands Enterprise Initiative grant, this event is just $250 per person for both days for Vermont working lands companies.  

Need more information?  Contact Patricia Giavara ( (802) 279-6103) or Lisa Henderson ( (802) 299-1456) and click here TODAY to read why this is a not-to-be missed event!  Non-working lands enterprises are welcome to participate as welldetails and registration can be found at this link.

ExporTech Have you registered for the only national program that can assist you in developing an exporting plan with the opportunity to connect with world-class experts who specialize in the export industry?  This program will help you accelerate profitable export sales, save you many hours of work, and help avoid unnecessary costs and potential headaches. Read how this unique program can begin or accelerate your exporting goals.   Please Note: We are fast approaching a deadline of December 16 for company involvement. Contact Lisa Henderson at ( (802) 299-1456) for questions related to this program.

Attention Existing and Future International Exporters!  

Whether you're an existing exporter or are likely to become 
one someday, we want you to be aware of several special export-related programs that your company may currently be eligible for. Information on these outstanding opportunities is outlined below, including contact information for your prompt follow-up action, if interested.
State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant Initiative: STEP is a pilot trade and export initiative to make matching-fund grants to states, to assist "eligible small business concerns" in entering and succeeding in the international marketplace. Services under the STEP Program are funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

     Individual Export Activities Reimbursement grant: This grant, made available through the STEP initiative, comes to the individual qualified Vermont business in reimbursement form, covering up to $3,000 per grant to support the following:

○    Defray the costs of website foreign language translation fees,
○    Attend export trade shows / trade missions / trade conferences,
○    Use U.S. Commercial Service's services, such as: Gold Key, International Partner Search, etc.
○    Participate in organized foreign market sales trips and/or
○    Design of international marketing media. 

Note: This STEP grant does not cover traveling cost, meals or accommodations; and it requires a 25% cash match from the grantee company. Each company may apply for one (1) grant from each category, and up to three (3) grants in total.

    ExporTech Tuition Reimbursement:  Vermont STEP grant funds may be used in support of the VMEC ExporTech program that is designed to train company leaders and help them develop a customized company export strategy to accelerate profitable sales growth through exports. During the nationally-recognized ExporTech program, companies are introduced to a wide range of local, regional, and national experts and resources who can help companies navigate the often complicated export sales process. 

The Vermont Global Trade Partnership (VGTP) requires that each eligible small business pay VMEC the full amount of their tuition to attend the ExporTech™ training program; but the individual small businesses will later be reimbursed by VGTP for approximately 2/3 of their total tuition fee.  The total ExporTech™ tuition is $7,500 per company, for up to 4 company leaders to attend; so the company will receive $5,000 per company in tuition reimbursement upon ExporTech™ program completion, for up to a maximum of seven (7) eligible companies.

For further details on these time-sensitive grants, please contact Katie Corrigan, Business Administrator, Vermont Global Trade Partnership, State of Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, at (802) 828-1744 or  You may also visit this link


MFG Day / Month in Vermont and Report on National Results One final Thank You and Recognition for the Vermont manufacturers and many supportive organizations across the state who stepped up by opening their doors and publicizing 2015 MFG Day celebrations.  

VMEC would like to thank American Precision Museum (Windsor), Andrew Pearce Bowls (Hartland), CMF Inc. (Shelburne), Concepts NREC (Hartford), 
Global Foundries (Essex), Maple Landmark Woodcraft (Middlebury), North Hartland Tool Corporation (Hartland), NSA Industries, LLC (St. Johnsbury), Sonnax (Rockingham), Twincraft Skincare (both Essex and Winooski facilities), Vermed (Rockingham), Vermod (Wilder), Vermont Technical College (Randolph) and Vermont Teddy Bear Company (Shelburne).  We would like to also thank Hartford Area Career and Technology Center, Jamaica Cottage Shop, The River Valley Technical Center and The River Valley WIB, Springfield Regional Development Corporation and Upper Valley Business Education Partnership for their assistance given to various manufacturers in the coordination of open houses, company tours and presentations.  (There are likely a number of other Vermont enterprises who were involved this year that we were not 'officially' aware of; these are the events that were registered on National "perception results" from a Deloitte Consulting follow-up survey about MFG DAY events are posted at this link

Create a successful Internal Audit team in two days!  This training will focus on preparing you and your team for your company's internal audit.  It's designed to increase your understanding of auditing techniques and will take you step-by-step through the stages of an internal audit, from audit planning to closure and follow-up.

Innovation is About People If the systems we create aren't rooted in a thorough understanding of the human interaction they are supposed to support, they can actually deter the experience we want to create for our customers.  (Source: Industry Week) 


New! Design of Experiments 101 - January 19 Join us to discover how Design of Experiments is used to find cause-and-effect relationships. This information is needed to manage process inputs in order to optimize the output.  

environment, be it in manufacturing or in the office, or even in 
your home! It is an effective way of making it impossible 
for errors to happen.  

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training session Based on positive response to the introductory session we held this Fall, VMEC is moving ahead with planning a 10-day training which would take place over the course of several months, meeting for two days at a time with two or three weeks between sessions. This course would cover the ASQ Six Sigma Body of Knowledge, preparing participants for certification. If you or others in your organization are interested in this session, please send a message to Robynn Albert, VMEC Marketing and Training Manager, at, by December 18. Details for this session will be posted in December or January. 

VMEC published an article in our E-News Briefs #17 (October 2015) by Dan Smith, Vermont Technical College President, regarding the college's efforts to expand support for advanced manufacturing. Read how things are progressing.


VMEC has a new web site!! Check it out, and let us know what you think. 

The VMEC Team wishes you a wonderful holiday season 
and prosperous New Year! 
About VMEC: Hosted by VT Technical College (VTC) since 1995, VMEC has operated as a not-for-profit with a primary mission, "To help improve and grow manufacturing in Vermont and strengthen the global competitiveness of the state's manufacturers." A local resource and trusted adviser to enterprises of all sizes, The VMEC Team brings world-class expertise in consulting, coaching, hands-on implementation support, training and education for leaders and workers.   

Through the VMEC PSG business unit established in 2006, on a selected basis VMEC also brings its process, strategy and innovation expertise to non-manufacturing business, non-profit, healthcare and government sectors in Vermont.

VMEC provides proven Systems and Solutions focused on Strategies, Processes, Products, Technologies and People.