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Olympics-style construction championship coming to Trade Mart

The Mississippi Construction Education Foundation (MCEF), Mississippi Department of Education and construction industry partners are hosting the 2013 SkillsUSA Mississippi State Championship Feb. 26-27 at the Mississippi Trade Mart in Jackson.

An Olympics-style event focused on skilled construction trades, high school, community college and skilled crafts persons enrolled in MCEF’s apprentice program will compete in 11 construction craft areas from carpentry and masonry to sheet metal and HVAC. Winners in each category will go on to the national championship.

While MCEF has offered this skills competition each year since its inception in 1996, this year will mark the first time MCEF will showcase under one roof the progression of construction training from high school to community college to apprenticeship to careers in construction.

“We are out to change the perception of construction that some have,” said MCEF president Mike Barkett. “Construction offers a wide range of career opportunities, and it’s as much about training the brain as it is the hands.”

In conjunction with the event, a statewide counselor’s workshop will be held Feb. 27 at the Trade Mart, and is expected to draw 150 school counselors and directors of career and technical education programs. In addition to speakers from, the workshop will offer attendees a tour of the championship competition to get a first-hand, up-close view of the various craft areas.

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