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Lake Norman Chamber and EDC recognize Champion Tire and Wheel with the 2024 “Inspire our Future Award”

Lake Norman Chamber and EDC recognize Champion Tire and Wheel with the 2024 “Inspire our Future Award”

Recognition part of Salute to Local Educators Luncheon

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce has recognized Champion Tire and Wheel in Cornelius for their outstanding continuous support of education and workforce development with the “Inspire our Future” award presented by the Chamber and the Lake Norman Education Collaborative.

As an inaugural partner of the Lake Norman Economic Development PIVOT Program, Champion Tire and Wheel offered nine student internships for high school students exploring the realm of manufacturing. Champion offered students the opportunity to study IT, engineering, mechanics, race and test shops, and more through its partnership of this 8-week program.

In addition, Champion has also worked with the Lake Norman Education Collaborative to offer student tours to 75 high school students who participated in the Fall Journey 360 event. The company also provided tours of their facility and shared insight into the NASCAR industry for both the Chamber’s Leadership and Junior Leadership Lake Norman programs last fall.  This allowed 24 adults and 16 high school students a behind the scenes look into their operations.

Kevin Mahl, Champion Tire & Wheel CEO said, “Not knowing what to expect when we took in the 2023 summer interns, we kept an open mind about the possibilities.  They all came into Champion with a smile on their face and a great outlook. The students brought with them their youth, their eagerness to learn, and willingness to work hard at whatever we asked of them.  It was a great experience for both everyone involved.  The whole experience left us with a sense of pride in helping to prepare the next generation of skilled workers that we all are going to need to continue the growth and prosperity of this area.  Three of the interns from last summer are still employed at Champion, one full-time and two part-time.”

Peter Khan, a senior at Hough High was one of the interns that now is considered to be full-time.  He goes to his classes in the morning at Hough, then comes to Champion and puts in enough hours to give him full-time status. 

Khan shared, “I got to see a lot of aspects of the business. I learned a lot and it allowed me a hands-on experience that I feel like I wouldn’t have got anywhere else.”  I  recently hired-on full-time into the maintenance shop where they work on Champion’s fleet of Peterbilts that haul all the tires, wheels, and equipment to the races.  I am very excited to have the opportunity to continue to learn and work alongside some of the best diesel mechanics in the industry, and to do it knowing that NASCAR and all the race teams depend on my work is really awesome.”

Picture Caption: Shelly Mahl (center) CFO and wife of Founder and Entrepreneur Kevin Mahl, receives the Lake Norman Chamber’s 2024 “Inspire our Future” award from Chamber Board Chair Jeff Tarte along with Brandi Jones and Melinda Bales Co-chairs of the Chamber’s Education Collaborative. Also pictured to Shelly’s right is their daughter Erika Mahl. Photo courtesy of Ocaid Photography. 


Second Pic: Peter Khan, a High High School senior intern

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