PEARL ― Seven of the state’s top-performing craftsmen are being recognized as winners following their performances in the recent Mississippi Construction Education Foundation’s statewide craft competition.

Synergy Electric’s Travis Smith of Canton earned top honors in the electrical commercial wiring category, with fellow Synergy employees Ethan Talkington of Camden, Logan McBride of Durant and Cole Irby of Canton finishing second, third and fourth, respectively.

Claiming first in the motor controls competition was Elcon’s Jacolbi Tucker of Brandon followed in second and third place by Deco Electric’s Austin Roach of Vancleave and independent contractor Kyle Caufield of Biloxi.

Competitors in the state competition were enrolled in MCEF apprenticeship programs and took written tests corresponding to their trade categories to qualify for the state competition. During the daylong contest, participants were assigned projects and awarded points based on how well they completed tasks.

All were awarded cash prizes and tools, with Smith and Tucker advancing to the 2023 National Craft Championship in Orlando, Florida.

"Participants in our annual craft competition are serious trade professionals as well as tough competitors," said Mike Barkett, MCEF president. "Their employers also deserve recognition for supporting professional development programs and helping ensure that Mississippi has a highly skilled workforce to support the state's growing construction and manufacturing industries."

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