Witnessing the Future of America’s Skilled Workforce

The “best of the best” of tomorrow’s skilled workforce came together at the MCEF SkillsUSA State Championship in Jackson, MS.  Over 300 participants distinguished themselves in this exciting event designed to coach, inspire, and recognize the value of careers in construction and manufacturing.

Competitors were tasked with hands-on projects in the areas of carpentry, cabinet making, residential wiring, industrial motor control, HVAC, masonry, plumbing, sheet metal, welding fabrication, structural welding, and TeamWorks. All events took place in the new Mississippi Trade Mart, and the match-ups were fierce! Timed heats included both individual and team projects. Spectators could feel the energy, talent, and focus that emanated from the contenders as they dove into challenging tasks designed to showcase their skills and craftsmanship. 

Collaboration was key as the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation (MCEF) together with the Mississippi Department of Education and over 87 local and national industry partners jointly hosted the state championship. The action-packed, two-day event brought together students from high school, community college, and apprenticeship craft programs who competed for prizes, scholarships, and a spot in the National Leadership and Skills Conference to be held in Atlanta, GA in June. 

Taylor Machine Works and O’Neal Manufacturing Services were proud to be among the industry partners and contractors who provided materials, funding and in-kind assistance for the event.  Many sponsors participated in the competition as judges, project managers, and facilitators. 

A nonprofit national education association, SkillsUSA supports personal, workplace, and technical skills grounded in academics. The mission of MCEF is to train, promote careers, and recruit a quality workforce for the construction industry in Mississippi. The alliance of MCEF, SkillsUSA, and industry partners recognized the next generation of doers and reminded all that the future of America’s skilled workforce is in the hands of the students of today.