PEARL ― Twenty-nine graduates of the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation's apprenticeship program were honored recently for completing training requirements that move them one step closer to becoming journeymen—the highest level in a trade profession.

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.

"Construction companies throughout the country, as well as here in Mississippi, are gearing up to hire more workers ― if only they can find them," said Mike Barkett, president of MCEF. "This shortage of skilled labor is having a negative impact on the construction industry and causing the loss of millions of jobs each year. MCEF is working to address this crisis by encouraging interest in technical-based careers and providing training, resources and recognition to help build a ready workforce for Mississippi."

In addition to increased job skills and pay, graduates can take apprentice certificates to a community college and earn up to 32 academic credit hours toward an associate degree.

Graduates were honored recently during graduation and awards festivities hosted by MCEF. Also recognized were students with perfect attendance along with outstanding students rewarded for their positive attitudes, high GPAs and class involvement.

Graduating from MCEF’s apprenticeship program were:

• Brian Adcox of Brandon, independent contractor
• Jonathon Allen of Pass Christian, employed by Allsouth Electric
• Todd Boyce of Pass Christian, independent contractor
• Jacob Burkett of Perkinston, independent contractor
• Kyle Caufield of Biloxi, independent contractor
• Peter Dabbs of Gulfport, employed by Duprey Electric
• Matthew Garner of Grenada, employed by Moses Electric
• Dustin Hensley of Memphis, employed by River Pointe Electric
• Cole Irby of Canton, employed by Synergy Electric
• Jeremy Jones of Brandon, employed by Moses Electric
• Chad Ladnier of Pascagoula, employed by Allsouth Electric
• Logan McBride of Durant, employed by Synergy Electric
• Reginald McCoy of Brandon, employed by Moses Electric
• Dylan Moss of Brandon, employed by Synergy Electric
• Max Orr of Clinton, employed by Lavallee Electric
• Daniel Osborne of Madison, employed by Moses Electric
• Theodore Pickard of Biloxi, employed by S&C Electric
• Warren Powell of Pearl, employed by H&H Electric
• Austin Roach of Vancleave, employed by Deco Electric
• Trey Robbins of Raleigh, employed by Shivers Construction
• Phillip Roe of Gulfport, employed by Bruce’s Electric
• Richard Roe of Gulfport, employed by Bruce’s Electric
• Travis Smith of Canton, employed by Synergy Electric
• Tristan Stewart of Jackson, employed by Moses Electric
• Ethan Talkington of Camden, employed by Synergy Electric
• John Taylor of Clinton, employed by Moses Electric
• Jacolbi Tucker of Brandon, employed by Elcon
• Austin Williamson of Pearl, employed by Moses Electric
• Luke Wilson of Vicksburg, employed by Total Electric

MCEF is a non-profit educational foundation that provides NCCER craft training and credentialing in more than 100 career and technical programs across the state. The foundation’s mission is to train individuals for the construction and manufacturing industries in Mississippi.

MCEF also offers workforce training and credentialing in construction, industrial maintenance and manufacturing trades. Learn more about MCEF at