What's Happening in Tazewell County

Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority
P.O. Box 1060
Lebanon, VA 24266

News Release
CONTACT: Jonathan Belcher
276-889-0381 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Lebanon, VA (April 27, 2017) – The Bluestone Business and Technology Park in Tazewell County will soon be home to a new 40,000-square-foot technology shell building, thanks to a $2.739 million loan from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) to the Tazewell County Industrial Development Authority (IDA).

VCEDA closed on the loan during a brief ceremony at the Tazewell County IDA office today (Thursday, April 27). The VCEDA board approved financing for the project earlier this year. The funds will be used for site grading, site development, building construction, utilities installations and extensions, other improvements and costs associated with the foregoing including legal, permit, architectural and engineering fees associated with the development and construction of the new shell building.

“VCEDA is pleased to assist with this project,” VCEDA Executive Director Jonathan Belcher, who also serves as the authority’s general counsel, said. “As we talk with potential prospects interested in the region, one question we hear often relates to the availability of existing buildings for location. Our inventory of available publicly controlled industrial buildings in the region has been decreasing for several years as those buildings are occupied, and we are pleased to assist in the construction of this building in Tazewell County’s Bluestone Business and Technology Park.

“Tazewell County and VCEDA have already been marketing the future shell building to potential business prospects,” Belcher added.

The new building is the first building to be constructed in The Bluestone Business and Technology Park, located just off U.S. Route 19 in Tazewell County. Funds for the project are coming from VCEDA’s Tazewell County account.  VCEDA also previously provided a $2 million grant to the Tazewell County IDA to assist with the development of the park.

Construction of the new building is expected to begin in June, with completion anticipated in December 2017.

PHOTO Caption:

Among those on hand for the $2.739 million loan closing were, from left, Pat Green, Tazewell County Administrator; Eric Young, Tazewell County Attorney; Doyle Rasnick, Tazewell County IDA Chairman; Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel; and Mike Thompson, Tazewell County Economic Development.



Rocky Gap, VA – October 10, 2016 – AMR, Inc. ( announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the PEMCO Corporation (PEMCO) (, a leading design, engineering, and manufacturer of electrical and power distribution equipment in Bluefield, VA.  PEMCO provides custom electrical solutions to a wide variety of global industries including Mining, Oil & Gas, Utility, Power Generation, Transit and Nuclear.  PEMCO’s product categories include power centers, substations, dry-type transformers, industrial modular buildings, custom power panels and ground check/ground fault protection devices.  The acquisition will provide customers with an unparalleled power and control experience by combining AMR’s global sales network and electronic monitoring, control and communications product lines with PEMCO’s electrical expertise.

“I have known and respected PEMCO for a very long time.  It is a very proud and accomplished company.  Their team has done an extraordinary job building a reputation for manufacturing extremely high quality electrical solutions,” said Robert Graf, AMR’s Chief Executive Officer.  “AMR and PEMCO share a strong commitment to their customers.  The combination of the companies’ global and local strengths will allow us to expand our product lines and deliver a more comprehensive experience to our customers.  We look forward to bringing together the two companies to deliver the best solutions in the market.”

“By teaming up with one of the industry’s leading monitoring, control, and communications companies, PEMCO will expand its presence and reach a larger audience worldwide.  We plan to leverage AMR’s global sales network and extensive engineering resources,” said Jay Johnson, Executive Vice President of PEMCO.  “We are extremely excited to combine our teams to meet the demands of the mining and industrial marketplace and to deliver improved technology and services to new and existing customers.”

The AMR and PEMCO brands will be merged and marketed as AMRPEMCO.  It will continue to deliver all existing product lines and services while enhancing its marketing to better position the company for faster domestic and international growth.    AMRPEMCO will also utilize the combined engineering resources to better serve its existing customer base and develop new product and service offerings.  New product solutions in the electrical power and industrial building markets, integrated with control and communications features, will help customers save both time and money.

PEMCO Aerial Photo
PEMCO Corporation


With approximately 60 employees and 120,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space, the PEMCO acquisition builds upon, and complements, the core strengths and resources of AMR and its two sister companies, East River Metals, Inc. (ERM) and Custom Manufacturing Services, Inc. (CMS) (   After the acquisition, AMRPEMCO, ERM and CMS will employ 250 talented individuals and operate four manufacturing facilities, totaling nearly 300,000 sq. ft., in the southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia area.   “Merging the sales and engineering resources of AMR and PEMCO is very exciting.  PEMCO’s custom electrical designs and building solutions will greatly enhance AMR’s sales efforts in multiple markets such as international Mining and the U.S. Oil & Gas industry.  In turn, integrating the electronic monitoring, communications, and automation controls expertise of AMR’s technical staff will create a new line of technologically advanced power centers for underground and surface mining,” said David Graf, President of AMR, ERM and CMS.   “However, what is also going to be key to the acquisition is utilizing the extensive manufacturing skills and capabilities at CMS and ERM, which provide precision sheet metal fabrication, electro-mechanical assembly, and powder coating services to AMR and a wide variety of OEM’s in many diversified industries.   We believe making the most of these many resources will dramatically make us more competitive in the marketplace.”

The acquisition is expected to be completed in early November, 2016.

About AMR
AMR, Inc. is a U.S.-based company founded in 1975 to support the mining industry’s demand for improved electrical safety and protection of AC-powered machinery.  Providing the world’s first “pilotless” continuity-type ground check monitors on low and high voltage cables, AMR has sold over 50,000 ground monitor circuits worldwide and now offers a variety of monitoring, control and communications electronics for mining, aggregates, oil and gas, water/wastewater, tunneling and general industry.  Product lines include low to high voltage ground check/fault monitors, atmospheric gas monitoring, wireless communications and tracking systems, collision avoidance solutions, electronic circuit breakers, speed sensors, and tip switches.  Utilizing modern technology to meet the needs of its customers, AMR supplies products that not only increase safety but also improve efficiency and productivity.

AMR has two sister companies, East River Metals, Inc. and Custom Manufacturing Services, Inc.   (, that specialize in low and high volume precision sheet metal fabrication, electro-mechanical assembly, and powder coat manufacturing services.  Headquartered in Rocky Gap, VA with additional facilities in Princeton, WV, the AMR, ERM, CMS team works together through employee and resource sharing.

AMR has representation in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, India, and South Africa.


AMR PEMCO Horizontal Logo



Media Relations Contacts

AMR, Inc.
Gary L. Sergent
(276) 928-1712

James “Jay” Johnson
(276) 326-2611


VCEDA News Briefs 

Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority

October 31, 2016

Tadano Mantis opened up its newly expanded manufacturing facility in Richlands Oct. 20 for an open house for the community and for a group of international dealers who sell the company's cranes. Tadano operates at two locations in Tazewell County and recently completed an expansion that added 20,000 sq ft of manufacturing and office space to its Richlands facility. VCEDA provided a $400,000 loan to Tadano Mantis Corporation in March 2016 to help with the construction of this expansion. The company has 100 employees at its Richlands and Claypool Hill locations. Tadano Mantis also was honored on Oct. 6 by the SVAM (Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing) with an Environmental Stewardship Award for installation of filtering systems that ensure that no pollution will enter the nearby river from the property of the Richlands manufacturing facility. In photo below with the SVAM award are Barry Reeves, left, General Manager of Human Assets and General Affairs, and Shiro Morita, Chief Operating Officer, Tadano Mantis Corporation. 


Governor McAuliffe Announces New Exports to Canada for Virginia Coal Equipment Manufacturer

~ Company Expands International Sales through Participation in Virginia’s Go Global with Coal and Energy Technology Program ~

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Ceramic Technology, Inc., a Cedar Bluff-based manufacturer of ceramic-lined coal and mineral process equipment, made more than $300,000 in sales to new customers in Canada as a result of its participation in the Go Global with Coal & Energy Technology (GGCET) program. GGCET is a collaboration of the Governor’s Office, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), resulting from the Governor’s 2014 Energy Plan. Canada was Virginia’s largest product export destination in 2015, with product exports totaling more than $3.4 billion. 

“As part of our 2014 Energy Plan, we laid out a vision for facilitating access to international markets for coal supply chain companies based in Southwest Virginia,” said Governor McAuliffe. “GGCET gives these businesses in the Coalfield region an opportunity to export their expertise and products, helping them expand their businesses and create jobs. Ceramic Technology, Inc. is a great example of a Virginia business that expanded its international clientele with the help of this important program. We will continue to find innovative ways to help grow existing businesses as we build the new Virginia economy.” 

Ceramic Technology, Inc. recently celebrated its 32nd year of operation. This anniversary marks an innovative progression into the design and development of the current CTI-X7 ceramic-lined process equipment being used throughout the coal, power, potash, phosphate, and gold mining industries.

Ceramic Technology, Inc. graduated from the Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program in July 2013. The company conducted a business trip to Toronto and Montreal in October 2015 through the GGCET program. Traveling to this important international market provided the company with the opportunity to meet with potential customers in the country through connections made by VEDP’s in-country partner.

Making the announcement on behalf of the Governor at the Virginia Conference on World Trade, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore added, “Ceramic Technology is the first Virginia company to leverage this innovative program to expand its footprint in the international marketplace. The funding provided by VCEDA to support the GGCET program allows these companies to travel to international markets and find customers outside of Virginia and the U.S., diversifying their customer base and creating jobs in the Coalfield region along the way.”

In addition, Ceramic Technology, Inc. exhibited at the 2016 Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy & Petroleum Show in Vancouver, where company representatives met potential new clients to develop sales relationships in the gold and uranium markets. The CTI-X7 ceramic-lined process equipment continues outperforming traditional rubber and AR-lined mining equipment, increasing efficiency 10 to 15 times over the current base line performance. 

“We look forward to increasing our Canadian market share and to the continued relationship with VEDP and the GGCET Program,” said Lee R. Osborne, President and CEO of Ceramic Technology, Inc. “With the assistance of an in-country partner, we were able to accomplish a great deal more than we could have if we had travelled to market on our own.”

The GGCET program assists coal and energy technology companies in the Virginia coalfield region in expanding their international business. GGCET offers a powerful combination of resources provided by VCEDA and VEDP, as well as professional services from expert, private-sector partners. GGCET is modeled after and linked to VEDP’s award-winning VALET program.

“VCEDA is pleased to support coalfield companies’ participation in the Commonwealth’s international trade development programs through GGCET,” said J.P. Richardson, VCEDA Vice Chairman. “VCEDA is assisting eight of our region's coal and energy technology companies with support and access to resources to help expand their international sales and markets.” 

In 2014, the Commonwealth of Virginia exported more than $36 billion in manufactured goods and services. Exports of Virginia’s products and services to the world are vital to the growth of the Commonwealth, with an economic impact to Virginia of more than $18.7 billion in labor income, $2 billion in tax revenue and the creation of nearly 321,000 jobs. 

More information about Ceramic Technology, Inc. may be found at

Tazewell- The Tazewell County Board of Supervisors announced the near completion of their onsite wastewater treatment project at Cavitt's Creek Park. The project was performed as a coordinated effort with EPC America a company using Israeli technology to construct a highly efficient, very clean wastewater treatment system. EPC America has also committed to creating a manufacturing and distribution center for water, wastewater and other innovative products in Tazewell County. The company was introduced to Tazewell County by the Governor's Virginia Israeli Advisory Board (VIAB).

In Tel Aviv, Israel last week Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the beginning of operation of the new clean-tech wastewater treatment facility in Tazewell County. Speaking during a trade and marketing mission to Israel, the Governor spoke about how Israel-based parent company of E.P.C.'s BioDisk technology installed at Cavitt's Creek Park in Tazewell County, will enhance the County and State's economic future, by providing an example for rural development through improved wastewater treatment technology to prevent water way contamination.

Governor McAuliffe stated, "Onsite wastewater treatment is an important cornerstone for catalyzing tourism growth for the state and the county. With this system in place, the park is on its way to becoming a state park thereby bringing in more tourists and adding another positive factor to the area's economic growth. The system offers a superb energy efficient green technology which uses 90 percent less energy than traditional systems and does not produce unpleasant odors. It is a win-win situation."

According to CEO Of EPC Israel Jeremy Weissman, “In Israel we have mastered how to treat and to reuse wastewater efficiently as dictated by our circumstances. We are excited for the opportunity to introduce this latest generation Israeli technology into the American market via the State of Virginia. Our technology is being introduced at a time when protection of watersheds such as the Chesapeake Bay and Clinch River in Virginia and other areas nationwide are at a critical juncture.  EPC's technology offers water resource challenged areas, such as a California, a much needed solution for reuse and recycling of wastewater for agriculture or other uses."

Charles Botwick, President of EPC America LLC and Project Manager for the Tazewell Initiative commented, “We foresee significant growth for our Tazewell based company as we market these solutions nationally. Our efforts will create further impetus for other companies to create a manufacturing and distribution center for water, wastewater and other innovative products in Tazewell. In fact already we have created a team of Virginia based companies critical to the completion of the Cavitt’s Creek Project. Together we will provide turnkey projects in Tazewell, regionally and nationally and we envision becoming an exporter from Virginia to the world.”

VIAB, recognizing not only the value of clean-tech and green projects but also the use of innovative technologies to drive economic growth, created a partnership in Tazewell County to enhance the region's visibility.

A delegation of Tazewell County representatives travelled to Israel to view the technology and meet with representatives of EPC's parent company in January 2015. According to Ralph Robbins, Executive Director of VIAB, the EPC deal is a game changer for rural Virginia and rural America. "It furthers economic development in an area where alternative wastewater solutions are not cost effective nor as elegant as this solution with its low energy, low maintenance, low footprint, low noise, and low cost. And on top of it all, the company has committed to expanding assembly and manufacturing in Tazewell County."

EPC America entered a performance agreement with Tazewell County's Industrial Development Authority whereby the company agreed to manufacture and assemble the facilities in Tazewell County in exchange for a $25,000.00 grant. The company contributed the grant proceeds toward purchase of a rental cabin at Cavitt's Creek Park.

With a significant improvement in wastewater treatment, the park can add more cabins for visitors thereby creating additional revenue streams for the County. With these in place, Tazewell County officials can enable the Park to meet State Park standards. Thus EPC's facility will bring the park closer to attaining State Park designation with the accompanying tourism revenue and publicity. At the same time the Park will become a demonstration site for private developers, public waste water utility operators, and others to see how this technology can change development in rural America.