Two State Construction was opened in Thomson in 1970 by Willard (W.C.) Poston with three employees. It shared its space with what was then Dudley Landscaping before moving further down Washington Road in 1974. Initially, the company strictly operated in the commercial general contracting business. Over the years, the company has built up McDuffie County with its construction projects, including the construction of Sweetwater Baptist Church, the shops to the right of IGA in Thomson, Augusta Technical College in Thomson, and the McDuffie County Sheriff’s Department.
And with the county it was founded in, the company expanded. It now has owners; Cliff, Cully, Cleve, Jay and Jimmy Poston, and Jay Poston’s brother-in-law, Mark Jenkins. Over the years, the company has grown to have 160 employees. The company’s 50th anniversary will take place next year.
In present day, Two State has three different divisions of business, construction, roofing, and steel fabrication. In 1976, Jimmy Poston started an offshoot of Two State Construction that focused on roofing work, called Thomson Roofing. James Poston, Jimmy Poston’s son and the president of the company, said that the varied interest of the owners made them branch out in their business’ activities. Instead of subcontracting out work, the company started to handled the assorted moving parts itself; for example, doing welding and roofing jobs.
“We like self performing work, doing the work ourselves” he said. “That’s kind of just carried on in the way we do things.”
Currently, Two State still does commercial work, but has shifted into other areas. The company handles steel fabrications, industrial construction and maintenance, roofing, and equipment and facility relocation.
The bulk of the company’s work comes in the CSRA, but it also has done jobs out of state and has shipped its products in other countries. A map with pins on the upper floor of the building lets employees know where Two State has completed projects. Cleve Poston said that map has gotten full lately.
“We travel anywhere,” Cleve Poston said.
In the past, people have thought the Two States name references Georgia and South Carolina, since the original owner moved from South Carolina, but Jay Poston said W.C. Poston always said that it meant Georgia and anywhere else they work. Employees of the company commonly get sent from Thomson to other locations in the country.
“It’s not abnormal to fly on a plane to Michigan,” Cleve Poston said. “We go everywhere.”
For Cleve Poston, he said his crowning project was an out-of-state project. The company moved an entire plant three miles down the road with 26 Thomson employees. That project brought in $1 million.
Jay Poston said the project that makes him the most proud is the roofing work the company did for University Hospital Summerville. To date, he said it’s their biggest roofing project, coming in at $4.9 million.
Nowadays, Jay Poston said that the company does not do as many projects in McDuffie County, but that it is always excited to do them.
“We’ve always felt like McDuffie County is home,” he said. “We grew up here. It’s our hometown.”
Jay Poston said the company sees itself as a part of the Thomson family and has a family feel within it. Jay Poston said the people, the family atmosphere, and the location that allows easy travel to Augusta keeps the company in Thomson.
“It all adds up to being a good business environment,” he said. “We’ve never considered anywhere else.”
And Jay Poston sees the county as continuing to be a good environment for business. In comparison to the other counties, Jay Poston said he thinks McDuffie’s growth will be slow and steady. McDuffie County has too much to develop for growth like Columbia County, he explained.
But, Jay Poston spoke about the way the company plans to continue to be a part of the county’s growth and imbedded in the community. Jay Poston said his dream project would be to work with new industries coming to town as it would mean potential work for the company and better jobs for McDuffie County residents. He also said that the company invests in things like the recreation department and community initiatives to give young people things to do in the county and show them they have options. The company will be a sponsor in the upcoming Relay for Life. It has had an apprentice in their accounting department this year. They’ve also done on-site interviews at Thomson High School. And with the Augusta Technical College and the McDuffie Housing Authority, the company has given tours to students.
And with employees, Jay Poston spoke about a particular kind of grit. He said that there are a lot of people that have been with the company for 25 or more years and a lot that have been with the company less than one. After two years, he said people tend to stay a long time. It takes patience, he said, to see develop and see success.
“Construction work is hard work,” he said. “Our employees are very tough to handle the hot and the cold, [and] the long hours.”
If you visit the Two State office in Thomson, you can find a series of photographs tracking the changes of the company’s building over the years. From overhead images, you can see the sea of trees, narrow roads, and farmland at the beginning of the company’s history turning into wide roads and building expansion.
“It’s very fulfilling because it’s neat to start at a project and see nothing, to then work on it, and then you walk away and see actually see what you’ve done,” Jay Poston said. “You see the completed project.”