The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce recognized Southwire Huntersville Plant for their outstanding support of education at the Chamber’s Education PowerLuncheon February 20th at Northstone Country Club in Huntersville. Southwire received the first “Inspire our Future” award presented by the Chamber and the Lake Norman Chamber Foundation. The event featured Mark Johnson, the North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction and was presented by BIB and James Funeral Home. Other sponsors included Atrium Healthcare, Business Today,The Lake Norman Chamber Fooundation, and WSIC..
This past year, the Lake Norman Economic Development Corporation coordinated a series of Manufacturing Tours designed to enlighten high school and junior high school vocational guidance counselors on what skills are required for Lake Norman regional industries. Southwire participated in the tours. In addition, to being recognized by the Lake Norman Chamber before in how they practice diversity and inclusion in their management, the company showcases their operations to both the Chamber’s Adult and Junior Leadership Lake Norman programs.
Melinda Bales, Mayor Pro tem for the Town of Huntersville, and co-chair of the Lake Norman Education Collaborative, said, “Having a community partner like Southwire helps us draw attention to the career opportunities that await students as they transition into the workforce. The partnership also helps us educate our educators on those same opportunities.”
Jasmine Monet, Southwire Huntersville’s Human Resource specialist who was on hand to receive the recognition, explained the importance for Southwire to help educate local youth about career opportunities, particularly jobs that do not require a college degree. By doing this, it is encouraging at risk students to stay in school and receive their diplomas so they can have better opportunities for a career after graduation.
“Seeing so many kids in this area who are dropping out of high school is often times due to them not seeing college in their future and therefore not thinking they have a chance at a career,” said Monet. “We want to encourage them to stay in high school and work toward their diplomas, because it’s our chance to show them that they can still have opportunities outside of just going to a university,” said Monet
Chris McGill, Southwire Huntersville’s plant manager, said “It is important for Southwire to encourage any and all students within their communities because it will help the individuals, Southwire and the future of the manufacturing industry.
“For us it’s about building goodwill in the community and supporting kids from all different backgrounds. We want to be inclusive of everyone, regardless of their socio-economic position,” said McGill. “By doing this, we are building Southwire’s workforce of tomorrow and giving them a chance to be successful.”
Pictured: Dale Vanvactor, production area manager and Curtis Queen, quality manager for Southwire, Ivonne Reed – Lake Norman Education Collaborative, Jasmine Monet, Southwire Huntersville HR Specialist, Melinda Bales, Huntersville Mayor Pro Tem, Richard Pappas 2020 Chamber Board Chair, and Chris McGill, Southwire Huntersville’s plant manager. Photo by John McHugh, Ocaid Photography.