294 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI YATES CONSTRUCTION COMPANY In 1964 William G. “Bill” Yates officially incorporated his own business as W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company which quickly grew to become a successful business across the southeastern United States. During the late 1970s and 1980s, Yates began expanding the company by purchasing other businesses, such as Thompson Welding and Machine Works in 1976, Edwards Electric Service in 1977, and Baldwin Sand and Gravel in 1981, and by establishing new divisions like Yates Building Supply, Yates Heavy Division, and Yates Engineering Corporation. In 1989, Yates Construction opened its first office outside of Philadelphia, located in Jackson. Yates started the Superior Asphalt office in Byram in 1991. The following year, Yates Construction was the general contractor the first casino to open in Tunica—Splash Casino. In 1994, the company expanded across state lines to an office in Mobile, Alabama. Yates continued its involvement in the Mississippi casino industry throughout the 1990s, helping to build the Silver Star Casino in Philadelphia, the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, and several others. The Yates Companies, Inc. was formed as a holding company, and several other construction companies were acquired as subsidiaries, including JESCO, Inc. in Tupelo, Blaine Construction in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Merit Electrical in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Yates has opened additional offices not only in Mississippi, but also in numerous cities in Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Maine. Ranked by Engineering News Record in its Top 400 Contractors in the U.S. since 1990 and in the top fifty since 2002, the Yates Construction mission is to provide value to clients. The Company and its employees are focused on working within its core values of safety, integrity, passion, and commitment. The Company celebrated its fiftieth year anniversary of incorporation in 2014. Today, Yates maintains its reputation of high-quality work and success, and contributes greatly to the economic development of the state of Mississippi. In 2016, Yates generated revenue of more than $1.6 billion, which placed the company second on the Mississippi Business Journal’s Mississippi 100 List. PHOTOS COURTESY OF YATES CONSTRUCTION