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Barkett receives national award for education leadership

Mike Barkett

Veteran educator Mike Barkett, president of the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation, is the recipient of the National Association of Women in Construction’s Carol A. Kueker Construction Education Visionary Award.

Barkett was honored by NAWIC for his visionary leadership and outstanding contributions to construction education during a ceremony in Atlanta on Aug. 23.

A resident of Rankin County, Barkett joined MCEF in 2002 after a 25-year career at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Ridgeland. Today, he directs all MCEF programs, which include training and credentialing for approximately 8,000 secondary students and community college and adult craft professionals. He also works closely with the Mississippi Department of Education and the state’s109 CTE centers to ensure quality utilization of the National Center for Construction Education and Research curriculum.

Barkett has influenced thousands of students seeking careers in Mississippi’s growing construction industry. Under his guidance, MCEF has held annual SkillsUSA competitions for students in secondary, post-secondary and apprentice-level training. MCEF also offers workshops for CTE counselors to increase their understanding of career pathways for construction and manufacturing jobs. In addition, MCEF organizes the annual Passport 2 Careers Expo attended by thousands of eighth graders from across Mississippi and provides a booth to NAWIC.

Barkett’s achievements also include spearheading a state-of-the-art training center for adult craft learners, launching a comprehensive summer construction camp for eighth through 12-graders, and working to elevate the lucrative, stable and diverse career opportunities available to students who complete technical education programs.

Barkett’s award is named in honor of the late Carol A. Kueker, a long-time trustee and volunteer who served as president of the NAWIC Education Foundation. Founded in 1972, NEF administers a variety of K-12 programs that encourage youth to pursue construction careers and offers a full range of self-study construction industry programs for adults.

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