PEARL ― The Mississippi Construction Education Foundation is recognizing four career and technical education standouts as its students of the month for February.

Selected from MCEF’s four districts are Jacob Bates of Tippah Career and Technology Center, Brooke Clark of Vicksburg Warren Career and Technical Center, Jason Fricke of Hancock County Career Technical Center and Tristin Parker of Philadelphia Neshoba County Career Technical Center.

Winners are chosen based on grades, attendance, discipline in class, outstanding achievements, leadership abilities, and post-graduation plans. All will compete for student of the year honors at the foundation’s annual awards program in May.

“We congratulate our student of the month winners for being such excellent representatives of high school career tech programs in Mississippi,” said Mike Barkett, MCEF president. “We’re proud of each of them for helping ensure our state has a highly skilled workforce to support the state’s growing construction and manufacturing industries.”

Exhibiting a work ethic that is second to none, Bates serves as team lead for his SkillsUSA welding fabrication team. He stands out in his community, working at Knothole Cabinet Shop while playing an active role in Falkner High School’s Leukemia/Lymphoma Society Pennies for Patients charity drive. Upon graduation, Bates will enter the workforce as a pipeline welding helper with a goal of working his way up the ladder to success.

Clark her sights set on becoming an architectural designer. One of only three in her class to pass the NCCER exam, she excels in all assignments involving design and building and is currently volunteering to help create a new building at her church. She plans to work for a construction company while earning an associate degree from Hinds Community College.

Twice the welding student of the year at Hancock CTE, Fricke exhibits a passion for his trade that is recognized in craft competitions across the state. Active in SkillsUSA, he serves as president of his local SkillsUSA chapter and as treasurer at the state level. Fricke is equally talented in the classroom and plans to study welding at Pearl River Community College.

Parker participates in many activities at his center, including SkillsUSA for which he serves as parliamentarian. Notably, he enjoys competing in craft competitions like the 2019 District 3 SkillsUSA competition at East Central Community College. His post-graduation plans call for attending ECCC’s career technical program in pursuit of an offshore oilrig position.

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.