Case Studies

State SteelWorks LLC

Delivering diversity in steel fabrication and erection across the Southeast

Founded in 2013 by James Potts, Tom Bourne, Cary Potts and Mark Mishoe, State SteelWorks LLC performs steel fabrication and erection across the Southeast. As a member of the Southern Association of Steel Fabricators, State SteelWorks has built a name for itself as a reliable, diversified company, willing to take on any project to please its clients.

Tom Bourne, director of business development, first got into the steel industry at 14 years old, working for his grandfather’s steel company. He rose through the ranks and eventually left to start a business of his own. As a founding partner of State SteelWorks, Bourne helped build the company’s reputation as a challenge-driven staple in the industry.

State SteelWorks LLC


The team at State SteelWorks comes from a variety of construction and fabrication backgrounds and has built a company with an immense variety of abilities to satisfy its customers.

“We can do anything in the steel industry,” explains Bourne. “We don’t monopolize ourselves. We can do it all.” While most companies focus in one area, State SteelWorks caters entirely toward customers’ needs.

Working primarily in the medical and professional market, State SteelWorks does much of its business with owners and developers. “Every project is different,” Bourne details. “We provide a service to the customer and they rely on our expertise.”

The company builds anything from multifamily condos to high-rises, and takes pride in its reputation as dependable and approachable. “Two things can keep people away from you in the construction industry: fear and greed,” explains Bourne. “If customers think you’re greedy, they won’t call you back, and if they don’t want to deal with you, they won’t call you back.” With repeat customers in both the public and private sectors, State SteelWorks is clearly doing right by its clients.

State SteelWorks employs approximately 30 people and does business primarily in the Southeast. Keeping headquarters in Marietta, Georgia, the company focuses mostly on steel erection, with fabrication representing a smaller portion of its business.

“We install everything in-house,” say Bourne. “I’d say we install 70 percent and fabricate 30 percent.” Although installation is its primary focus, State SteelWorks is willing to go the extra mile to meet its customer’s demands.

Bourne explains that the company’s primary concern is achieving the goals of its clients. “We cater to what our customer’s needs are,” he explains. “There’s no one customer that requires the same thing as another.”

Willing to utilize subcontractors if its own fabrication facilities cannot deliver, State SteelWorks is always determined to meet the demands of its customers.

Project diversity

In 2014, State SteelWorks took on a major installation project at the Atlanta, Georgia, VA Hospital. The company’s task was to add an additional floor over the existing building while the hospital was still fully functioning on the floors below. Nearly eight months in development, the project had to be completed entirely during the night hours. State SteelWorks was unwilling to turn down a challenge, and the company finished the project under the difficult conditions.

State SteelWorks also constructed the renovations for the Delta Museum in Atlanta. The museum holds the first airplane built for Delta by Boeing in 1982, and regularly hosts public tours through the aircraft. Officially retired in 2006, the B-767 is a historic and unique exhibit. With the aircraft already in the hanger, State SteelWorks had to carefully build their renovations around it.

Solidifying a reputation as a company willing to work around any challenge, State SteelWorks completed a tricky local project at a Georgia law office. Beginning by installing support beams that allowed the general contractor to safely cut a hole into a concrete slab, State SteelWorks was then tasked with installing a staircase into the space. “We had to fly a 25-foot stair into the sixth floor,” laughs Bourne. Accomplishing the project only proved State SteelWorks’ muster as a diverse steel erection company.

Working together

As president of the Southern Association of Steel Fabricators, Bourne takes great pride in recognizing the achievements of his fellow steel workers. “We’re a tight knit group,” he says proudly.

When he joined the board as one of its youngest members, Bourne found great comradery within the association’s network of industry professionals. “We’re friendly competitors,” explains Bourne. “There are no hard feelings. Everybody is here to get better educated.”

Being able to share ideas and suggestions, as well as build relationships, helped Bourne make connections across the board in the business. “You really get to know your suppliers and vendors in a different way,” he continues, “because from seven to seven, Monday through Friday, they’re working, too.”

In the coming years, Bourne looks forward to State SteelWorks flourishing in the Southeast steel industry. He’s thankful for the variety of projects and customers the company draws in.

“It’s amazing what you can get accomplished when you’ve been nice to people over the years,” he chuckles. With its diversity and willingness to take on any challenge, State SteelWorks LLC will surely continue to find steady sustainable growth in its market

Published on: July 10, 2015

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