A newly trained Okanagan College alumnus was recognized among the best in the country at Skills Canada National Competition.
Lukas Pfob, a Level 4 carpenter apprentice, brought home the Silver medal in the carpentry competition at SCNC, which took place in Edmonton June 4-5.
SCNC is a national, multi-trade and technology competition for students and apprentices in the country.
This year, more than 500 competitors from across Canada made the trip to Edmonton to put their nerve and know-how to the test in more than 40 skilled trade and technology categories.
“The whole experience from start to finish is mind-blowing,” says Pfob, who works for Team Construction Management in Kelowna. “It’s very much like the Olympics but for trades. Until you’ve seen it, you really can’t appreciate how hard the competitors work. It challenges you in so many ways.”
This year marked Pfob’s second chance to seize the challenge at Nationals.
Last year, he notched a strong showing but fell short of the podium in Winnipeg. He punched his ticket to Edmonton, and another shot at Nationals, with a gold medal-winning performance at the provincial competition in Abbotsford in April.
His says his nationals test this year was no child’s play.
Pfob and his competitors had just 12 hours over the course of two days to construct an intricate playhouse from scratch. While he says the time constraint was nerve-racking, Pfob also had to overcome the challenge of working almost elbow-to-elbow with the competition.
“Looking up and seeing the best apprentices from the other provinces and territories working a few feet away is tough,” he says, “but I knew from my experience last year–and from all the work I’ve put in with my instructors–that I had to ignore them and stay as focused as I could on the task at hand.”
That focus, he says, paid off.
“When I found out I came in second, I was ecstatic,” says Pfob. “These truly are some of the best carpenters in Canada, so I take a lot of pride in this showing. I’m very grateful to all my instructors and everyone who has helped me along the way.”
The medal was Pfob’s first at nationals and fifth overall at Skills Canada competitions, including consecutive gold medals at Provincials the past two years.
“We’re immensely proud of Lukas for his achievements at Skills Canada competitions this year–and over the years–and equally so for the fine example he’s setting for his fellow students and apprentices at the College,” says Steve Moores, Okanagan College’s dean of trades and apprenticeship.
Pfob was joined by two other Okanagan College students at Nationals. Vernon’s Bradley Vanlerberg competed in the Aerospace Technology category and Kelowna’s Conner McLaren competed in the Automotive Service category.
All three students won gold at the provincial Skills Canada competition on April 18.
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