Pearl River Welder Among Students Highlighted by MCEF

Levi Burge, Pearl River welding studentLevi Burge, a third-year welding student at the Pearl River County Career and Technology Center, was one of Mississippi’s public school students honored by the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation (MCEF) as a student of the month for the state’s Southern region last semester.

Burge is a leader in the classroom and the shop. He holds core and welding credentials from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). His skills earned him top honors in a 2019 welding competition along with his class’ award for welding.

Away from school, Burge enjoys construction work with his father in addition to serving as a firefighter with Derby Whitesand Volunteer Fire Department. Upon graduation, he plans to work as a pipefitter for two years before establishing his own mobile welding service.

"We congratulate Levi for earning student of the month honors and for being an excellent representative of high school career-tech programs in Mississippi," said MCEF President Mike Barkett. "We're proud of our students of the month for helping ensure our state has a highly skilled workforce to support the state's growing construction and manufacturing industries."

Students of the month are selected from MCEF’s three districts based on grades, attendance, discipline in class, outstanding achievements, leadership abilities and post-graduation plans. All compete for student of the year honors at the foundation’s annual awards program at the end of the school year.

MCEF is a nonprofit 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


Connections is the magazine for K-12 career and technical education (CTE) in Mississippi. The biannual publication features students, educators, schools, and organizations from approximately 50 career pathways across 16 career clusters. This Mississippi Department of Education publication is produced by the Research and Curriculum Unit at Mississippi State University. Issues are disseminated in print and electronic forms in May and December each year.

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