PEARL ― Nine 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.

Terry Bailey (Upchurch Plumbing) of Greenwood earned top honors in the commercial plumbing category with James Holland (Upchurch Plumbing) of Belzoni finishing second.

Claiming first in the electrical construction wiring competition was Matthew Whittington (SEC of Mississippi) of Crystal Springs followed by second and third place winners Haydn Aldridge (Whitfield Electric) of Hernando and Michael McLallen (Duprey Electric) of Vancleave.

Christopher Dickerhoof (Upchurch Services) of Brandon took first place in the HVAC category with Robert Pickett (Climate Masters) of Pearl finishing second.

Earning first place honors in the sheet metal category was Brad Chevalier (Environment Masters) of Pearl.

Rayne Burge (Adco Electric) of Pearl rounded out the winner’s circle with a first place win in the motor controls division.

Competitors in the state competition were 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 and tools with Bailey, Chevalier, Dickerhoof, Whittington, and Burge advancing to the 2021 National Craft Championship in Dallas, Texas.

"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