PEARL ― The Mississippi Construction Education Foundation, in conjunction with Mississippi State University and the University of Southern Mississippi, invites eighth through 12th-graders across the state to learn and explore the design and construction industry during its 2020 summer construction camp series.

Slated for June 14-18 on the MSU campus in Starkville and July 12-16 on the USM campus in Hattiesburg, the sessions provide students with hands-on building activities taught by certified professionals. During the week, participants will build a small structure from start to finish while exploring building design, architectural plan reading, hammering, soldering, concrete, roofing, electrical and much more.

“Professional trades are among the highest paying and fastest growing jobs in the U.S., yet companies are struggling to fill these positions because of a shortage of qualified employees,” said MCEF President Mike Barkett. “We're changing that by raising awareness of opportunities in construction with initiatives like our summer camp series, where students will learn from experienced instructors and industry experts in two state-of-the-art construction programs.”

Registration cost for these special weeks of learning is $500 with limited scholarships available. Included are residence hall lodging and on-campus dining. Participants also will enjoy special activities such as swimming, movie night and rock climbing.
Barkett noted that needs within the construction industry are always changing, but never more than today.

“By 2021, Mississippi will need more than 80,000 craft professionals to meet the needs of the state's growing construction industry,” he said. “To be successful in this environment, we must inform our students of emerging opportunities while providing the necessary resources to help.

“That’s really what our summer camps are all about,” said Barkett. – giving students a chance to explore a complex, important and engaging career in the design and construction industry and having a blast in the process,” said Barkett.

The mission of the non-profit MCEF is to promote careers, recruit capable individuals and train a quality workforce for the construction and manufacturing industries in the state of Mississippi. MCEF also offers workforce training and credentialing in construction, industrial maintenance and manufacturing trades.

Learn more about MCEF at

To learn more about the Building Futures Summer Camp, contact Dianna Zendejas, MCEF Assessment Administrator/Marketing and Public Relations Director, at 601-605-2989.