PEARL ― Seven of the state’s top-performing craftsmen were recognized as winners in the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation’s statewide craft competition during a recent awards dinner at the Clyde Muse Center in Pearl.

Anwan Word (Upchurch Plumbing) of Clarksdale earned top honors in the commercial plumbing category with John McArthur (Buie Electric) of Ridgeland taking first place in the industrial motor control division.

Claiming first in the electrical construction wiring competition was independent contractor Eddie Poythress of Meridian followed by second and third place winners Jake Repsher (ADCO Electric) of Flowood and Phaylon Smith (Moses Electric) of Pearl.

Steven Daniels (Climate Masters) of Pearl took first place in the HVAC category with Robert Pickett (Climate Masters) of Pearl finishing second.

Competitors in the state competition are enrolled in the 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 at MCEF’s awards day celebration with Word, McArthur, Poythress and Daniels advancing to the 2020 National Competition in Long Beach, California.

“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 Training and Education.