MCEF Honors Beeland as President’s Award Recipient

Veteran employee goes above and beyond to help build the state’s skilled workforce.


RIDGELAND ― Gary Beeland of Madison is the first employee recipient of the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation’s President’s Hard Hat Award for outstanding performance.

As MCEF’s south central area director, Beeland works with career and technical education centers on the secondary and post secondary levels to educate students on the benefits of construction trades. He has more than 45 years experience in the construction industry, including 14 years with the foundation.

Prompting Beeland’s recognition was his coordination of MCEF’s recent SkillsUSA state competition, which drew more than 300 participants to the Mississippi Trade Mart for a two-day event aimed at preparing students for careers in construction and manufacturing.

“The success of Mississippi depends on a skilled workforce, and Gary is doing his part to raise awareness among our young people about the opportunities that exist for them in construction technical education,” said MCEF President Mike Barkett. “While planning our state competition is part of his actual job, Gary exceeded every expectation of our management team.”

Expressing appreciation to the many individuals who have set examples for him over the years, Beeland said he views the “huge honor” of being recognized by his employer as an opportunity to further serve as a resource for those interested in craft professions.

“Construction careers in today’s market are all about high-tech, high-stakes, huge earning potential and the opportunity to travel the world,” said Beeland. “It’s quite rewarding to work with students at all levels of their education on ways to start training and securing the right credentials now.”

A native of Newton County, Beeland has a Bachelor of Science degree in landscape construction from Mississippi State University. He enjoys landscaping and remodeling work, hunting season, and traveling with wife Jane to Nashville and Dallas to visit their two daughters and six grandchildren.

The mission of the non-profit MCEF is to promote careers, recruit capable individuals and train a quality workforce for the construction and manufacturing industries in the state of Mississippi. MCEF also offers workforce training and credentialing in construction, industrial maintenance and manufacturing trades.

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