PEARL ― Eight craft professionals from across Mississippi are being hailed for their commitment to boost workforce development as instructors in the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation's apprenticeship program.

MCEF's apprenticeship program is approved by the Department of Labor and prepares craft professionals in eight trades: carpentry, electrical, HVAC, pipefitting, plumbing, sheet metal, welding and interior finish. Students must work for an approved employer to be accepted into the four-year program, which includes a total of 576 hours of classroom instruction and 8,000 on-the-job training hours. Students work during the day and take classes at night.

Instructors also work full-time for commercial businesses and teach at night. The following instructors were recognized during MCEF’s recent awards day program:

Five-year recognition
• Scott Berryhill of Pearl, Climate Masters – core /sheet metal

One-year recognition
• Beau Bailey of Richland, Metro Mechanical - electrical level 1
• Chris Bailey of Brandon, Buie Electric – electrical level 2
• Tim Evans of Raymond, Synergy Electric – electrical level 1
• Joseph Gore of Brandon, A & B Mechanical – HVAC
• Tommy Graves of Madison, Upchurch Plumbing – plumbing level 1
• Josh Luby of Brandon, Synergy Electric – electrical level 1
• Tony Roberts of Biloxi, Siemens – electrical level 4

"If Mississippi is going to have the skilled workforce that’s needed for tomorrow, we must encourage and train those workers today,” said Mike Barkett, MCEF president. “We salute our instructors for their commitment to prepare our students for career and technical professions and for ensuring that Mississippi has the resources required to support its growing construction and manufacturing industries."

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

Learn more about MCEF at