Bluefield Coal Show returns as vendors adapt to changing industr - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Bluefield Coal Show returns as vendors adapt to changing industry

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BLUEFIELD, WV (AP) -

Nearly 200 exhibitors prepared for the 22nd biannual Bluefield Coal Show Tuesday afternoon as the Bluefield Chamber of Commerce looks to help exhibitors stay updated on the ever-changing coal industry. 

“We offer technical seminars so they get to hear updates on the industry, the latest technical developments, how technology is changing the game in the coal industry, but also what are the political forecasts for where the coal industry is heading," said CEO of the Bluefield Chamber of Commerce Josh Cline. 

Cline says there was some uncertainty surrounding the return of the trade show after 2015. Although there will be nearly 40 less companies in attendance this year, Cline says the vendors are continuing to adapt to the climate of the industry. 

"Folks are changing the way they operate, companies have merged or maybe changed their product line offerings but there still is a coal industry."

One vendor who has caught onto the changing landscape of the industry is Roberta Lee who owns an engineering consulting firm in Bluefield, Virginia.

"We are here at the show to showcase our drone technology that we have mainly for above ground coal mining," Lee said.

With companies coming from nearly 30 different states, Lee says it’s important to showcase an evolving coal business in our backyard.

"We think we should support our local venues and try to promote our local areas so hopefully this will do it for us and everybody won’t have to go outside of Bluefield, Virginia to get the services they need."

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