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Clean Vehicles

Job Opportunities Get Bigger in Texas Thanks to Tesla

Beat Jau

They say everything is bigger in Texas – and that includes job opportunities thanks to the new facilities Tesla is opening in the state. These include the Gigafactory Texas and the Bobcat Project in Austin, and new SpaceX sites across the state. Experts estimate the new projects could bring upwards of 15,000 new jobs to the Lone Star State. If hiring goes as planned, Tesla will be the largest manufacturing company in Central Texas. The move is driven by Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s plan to move most of his manufacturing from the west coast to Texas.

“This is a home run for the Austin region,” said Laura Huffman, CEO of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. “Tesla is a unique project because it offers a broad spectrum of job opportunities for every level of experience. The need for 10,000 employees over the next year will offer life-changing opportunities for people to live, work and thrive in the best place to live in America. We can and will provide the talent needed to fill these jobs as we have done successfully for decades.”

Photo Courtesy Carlos Alfonso

Gigafactory Texas, a $1.1 billion site, is currently under construction near Austin, with a scheduled completion date of late this year. The 850-hectare site will be the main production factory for four Tesla vehicles: the Semi, Cybertruck, and the Model Y and Model 3 passenger cars. The factory may also manufacture battery cells. Gigafactory already lists nearly 300 job openings on Tesla’s website, with jobs varying from engineers to office managers, piping designers to tool specialists. The average annual salary nears $50,000 per year. Tesla is already doing outreach work to schools and colleges in the Hill Country – from the mammoth University of Texas-Austin to the Del Valle Independent School District – to network for employees. For many positions at Tesla, a college degree is encouraged but not required.

“We are thinking about recruiting students who can graduate high school and start a career at Tesla while continuing their education,” explained Chris Reilly, Tesla’s Director of Recruiting and Workforce Development. “Getting to build programs with these educational institutions…has just been so exciting. We have opportunities for entry-level roles, for individuals that are coming from outside manufacturing … that have that passion, have that drive and want to come make a difference.”

Photo Courtesy Bram Van Oost

Further south in Brownsville, a new SpaceX launch facility is taking shape, while a rocket testing facility in McGregor (located north of Austin towards Waco) is expected to hire at least 3,000 new employees.Each of these facilities is expected to have a major multiplier effect for jobs. Based on the number of smaller companies who set up shop around Tesla’s original Gigafactory in Nevada, Texas expects as many as 50 smaller companies to crowd around the East and Southeast Austin Tesla sites — meaning even more jobs are in the future for Travis County and environs.

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