Walker Machinery's new investment in coal creating jobs in South - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Walker Machinery's new investment in coal creating jobs in Southern West Virginia

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Monty Boyd tells WVVA News, he's writing a nice sized check supporting the mining industry.

"It's a large investment – trust me," says Boyd, Owner and CEO of Walker Machinery.

His company will be the new distributor for Caterpillar mining products.  They will be providing service and sales for products in Walker's territory. This venture could mean more jobs in Southern West Virginia. 

Walker has brought in 38 employees to its Beckley operations already.

"With these new products that we've taken on, there's a number of them in the field [that] we'll be supporting… Then as we sell additional machines, we'll have opportunities for parts and service," says Boyd.

Boyd has been researching with Caterpillar Mining Council for about three years.  During this time they studied past trends of the coal industry and the demand for coal worldwide.

Despite the recent loss of mining jobs and the EPA's push for clean energy alternatives, Boyd is confident the global demand for electricity will be a large push for coal.

"The coal industry is a very resilient industry.  It's seen downturns before.  Some of the negativeness that's being forced on us right now, we're going to have to deal with, and we're going to have to figure out how to deal with it and continue to move forward," says Boyd. 

Beckley residents are hopeful that additional investment coal will mean an economic turn around and local job prospects.

"The saying is West Virginia coal keeps the lights on.  You know West Virginia coal also keeps food on the table, so I believe West Virginia coal will come back," says Roy Shrewsbury, a Board Member for the Beckley Chamber of Commerce.

At the end of the day though, Boyd says he's no brave man for investing money in coal in uncertain times.  Even though his studies show significant results could take up to 15 years, he says he believes in the future of coal.

"I'm just trying to provide for our employees and position [Walker] to be successful in the long term," says Boyd.

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