VERMONT MANUFACTURING EXTENSION CENTER

Providing Systems and Solutions to help
Vermont Manufacturers Innovate, Plan, Perform and Grow
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VMEC E-NEWS BRIEFS - ISSUE 19 - FEBRUARY 2016

BUSINESS OWNER/ CEO CORNER

The New and Improved R&D Tax Credit: The Tax Deal Manufacturers Will Be Celebrating for Years to Come Changes made to the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit includes a key modification that will greatly expand the number of companies that can claim what is still (at $10 billion in annual tax savings) the largest tax credit out there for U.S. businesses. 
(Source: Industry Week, February 2016) 

INNOVATION, GROWTH AND 
TECHNOLOGY ACCELERATION 
                                                               
ExporTech™ LAST Call for 2016 Program!  Session begins March 3.
exportechlogo 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 is coming your way in just a few short weeks and it's not too late to sign up but you must act FAST!  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.  Contact Lisa Henderson, VMEC Director of Client Services, at lhenderson@vmec.org or (802) 299-1456 for questions related to this program. 

STEP Grants - Attention Existing and Future International Exporters! Whether you're an existing exporter or are likely to become one someday, there are several special export-related programs that your company may be eligible to apply for. Information on these outstanding opportunities is outlined on the title link; for further details on these time-sensitive grants, please contact Katie Corrigan, Manager of International Trade, Vermont Global Trade Partnership, State of Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, at (802) 272-1420 (Note: This is an updated phone number from what is mentioned in the title link above) or Katie.Corrigan@vermont.gov.  You may also visit this link

Competition to fund innovative Additive Manufacturing ideas announced Partnering with "America Makes" and Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEPs), Penn State's Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D) is sending an open invitation to SMEs to present ideas for how Additive Manufacturing can revolutionize their business. The challenge will be focused on concepts that utilize additive manufacturing for improving a current product or developing a new product. Although the challenge will focus on additive manufacturing of metals, applications involving polymer printing will also be considered depending upon the impact of improving or developing a product through additive manufacturing. The top five submissions will be awarded stipends and access to Penn State and America Makes world class facilities and research personnel in order to validate, demonstrate, and showcase their ideas.  

The SME Challenge proposal should include the regional NIST MEP (VMEC in Vermont) as an integral member of the proposal team.  Concepts are due by March 27, 2016. For more information about the challenge, click the title link above or contact Clara Asmail at NIST at Clara.Asmail@nist.gov or (301) 975-2339. A webinar about the challenge was conducted earlier this month; to view the recording, click here

OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE AND 
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT 

All About IT Read how John Burton, President of NPI and a member of the VMEC Advisory Board, believes in many cases "big data" is better suited to small business. 
(Source: Business People Vermont, January 2016) 

Closing the Nation's Skills Gap Combine something old with something new...and you get "Augmented TWI". 
(Source: Industry Week, January 2016) 

Is service and support part of your manufacturing plan? Read how it can be once your product leaves the factory floor.  
(Source: Triple Pundit, January 2016)                                          

WORKFORCE STRATEGIES AND TALENT DEVELOPMENT 

This 10-day, several week course will cover the ASQ Six Sigma Body of Knowledge, preparing participants for certification.  The course is designed to ensure the participants can understand, apply, analyze, evaluate and create various Six Sigma DMAIC tools and techniques appropriately. 
We have had strong interest; as of this writing, only 5 seats remain.

If you're interested in a seat, promptly contact Patricia Giavara, VMEC Assistant Center Director, at pgiavara@vmec.org or (802) 279-6103. Please view the title link for all date sets, the complete course description, and a registration link. Also read the "Course Fee, Registration, Payment, Cancellation Policy" section at the end of the web link, plus ASQ Six Sigma Green Belt Certification exam information.  This session will be taught by Dan Feliciano, a Certified General Electric Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

NOTE: VMEC has received conditional approval for a Vermont Training Program (VTP) grant for this training, which could reduce the cost of attendance by 50% for qualifying participants. Contact Patricia Giavara (see contact information above) for more information and eligibility requirements. 

Additional Spring Training Opportunities...Let us know if there is something we can offer you and your employees, whether on-site at your company or in a public setting.




Registration is now open for the 2016 Emerging Leaders free executive level training program in Vermont. This is the first year the program has been offered in the Green Mountain State. The goal of this program is to attract owners of established for-profit small businesses with high growth potential, and provide them with the knowledge and resources to build a sustainable business of size and scale.   

The deadline to apply for this program is March 1, 2016.  Vermont firms interested in the SBA Emerging Leaders program may contact Darcy Carter at the VT SBA at (802) 828-4422 ext. 203 or darcy.carter@sba.gov. Check out this informational flyer for complete details or visit this link to register. 

"Work. Thriving in a Turbulent, Technological and Transformed Global Economy" A 2016 report by the Council on Competitiveness about trends affecting the US labor market and the challenges they present for America's workers. 

RESOURCES FOR VERMONT MANUFACTURERS 

2015 VMEC Impact Report Read the latest VMEC Annual Impact Report that includes why manufacturing really matters in Vermont, plus a radar/spider chart of what our Vermont clients see as their top three strategic challenges.

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.