By BRIAN WALKER
POST FALLS — Kadin Stowers laid the framework for a second-place national finish.
The Post Falls High graduate who will attend North Idaho College this fall won the silver medal in the Carpentry Division out of 46 other state winners during the recent 2018 SkillsUSA Championships in Louisville.
Contestants were given 8 hours to frame walls, cut and install rafters, siding and construct a roof of a model. They were judged on accuracy, ability to read and interpret blueprints, workmanship, safety and the proper use of tools.
Stowers said roughly half of the contestants, including himself, finished the model.
"I wasn't sure how I was going to place, so I was a little surprised to finish second," he said.
Stowers won tools, a medal and the trip to compete. He also received job offers on the spot.
"Some guys from Florida kept offering me jobs," he said.
Stowers, who works in the warehouse at the Ziggy's building materials center in Post Falls, said he passed on the offers because he wants to attend NIC and major in carpentry before entering the workplace full time.
Earlier this year, Stowers won the Idaho state competition to advance to the national championships, representing KTEC (Kootenai Technical Education Campus that includes students from the Post Falls, Lakeland and Coeur d'Alene school districts). He finished fourth at state as a sophomore and third as a junior.
Colby Mattila, KTEC's director, said it was the first time a KTEC student has placed at the national contest.
"Kadin is a hard-working student who will have great success in life," Mattila said. "This was icing on the cake for him."
Another KTEC student, Nate Calkins, who will be a senior at New Vision High in Post Falls this fall, also won the Idaho contest in collision repair and finished 11th in that category at the national contest.
"It's great to see Nate succeed and flourish in our program," Mattila said.
KTEC instructors Casey Syth (carpentry) and Andy Rogge (collision repair) accompanied their students in Louisville.
Stowers said he has enjoyed carpentry for as long as he can remember.
"I started out by helping my dad (Brian) build projects around the house," he said, adding there's an elaborate tree house in his back yard.
Stowers said he has also put his carpentry skills to use for his mother Jill, built an overhang and a chicken coop for his grandpa and remodeled a room for a grandma. He's also installed hardwood floors for his grandpa.
"Some projects come easy, but others can be challenging," he said.
SkillsUSA is an organization that provides educational programs and competitions that support career and technical education in the nation's classrooms.