MCEF Recognizes ‘Construction Month’ with Informational Tour

Meeting series will highlight rewarding careers in Mississippi’s growing construction industry

Ridgeland, Miss. – Officials from the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation are touring the state this month to mark 20 years of success – and to meet with education and community leaders to raise awareness of job opportunities in the construction industry and how they can work together to encourage more students to pursue career and technical education.

The tour is part of the foundation’s statewide observance of National Careers in Construction Month, an annual initiative spearheaded by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) to combat shortages of craft professionals across the country.

“Since our founding in 1996, our mission has been to promote careers, recruit capable individuals and train a quality workforce for the construction and manufacturing industries in the state,” said MCEF President Mike Barkett. “Today, we’re renewing that commitment with a comprehensive package of programs and services designed to help move Mississippi where it needs to be for the future.”

While touring, MCEF officials will share details of the foundation’s renewed focus that comes after years of helping strengthen Mississippi’s workforce. Recognized nationally for its achievements, MCEF excels in training and credentialing at multiple levels, including high school career and technical, adult craft professional/apprenticeship, skill upgrade classes and outreach training.

“We’re in a good position right now,” said Barkett. “Our accomplishments provide the necessary momentum and framework to ensure that Mississippi’s workforce is stronger and better prepared for the future.”

Spotlighting Mississippi’s need for more than 80,000 craft professionals by 2019 to support the state’s growing construction industry, Barkett said that MCEF is making sure those jobs are filled by qualified Mississippians who have graduated from one of the state’s accredited career and technical education programs.

MCEF is stepping up efforts to support the growing need for traditional craft workers such as welders, carpenters and electricians. Expanding partnerships with the state’s community colleges will create much needed credentialing programs. Meanwhile, MCEF will build on its position as a national leader to create additional learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Barkett noted that needs within the construction industry are always changing, but never more than today.

“Until recently, the construction industry suffered a technology bypass, relying on centuries-old processes and procedures to manage complex modern projects,” said Barkett. “Today, the same software applications that make manufacturing industries efficient are being deployed in building construction.

“To be successful in this environment, we must inform our students of emerging opportunities while providing the necessary resources to help them,” he said. “Each of us has a role to play in promoting the rewarding careers available in Mississippi’s growing construction industry. The stakes have never been higher.”

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.

Learn more about MCEF at “Careers in Construction Month” is an initiative of NCCER and Build Your Future ― see for details.

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