Tesla’s Gigafactory New York, a facility that produces the Solar Roof and Supercharger components, has received an extension to meet its employment goals. Granted by state development officials, the extension would provide Tesla with more time to meet its promise to bring 1,460 jobs to the sprawling facility located in South Buffalo, New York.
The state had already granted Tesla a one-year extension for Gigafactory New York’s employment targets last year due to the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. This extension is poised to end this month, though state development officials opted to provide Tesla with another extension that moves the deadline to the end of December 2021.
It should be noted that Tesla’s extension is not unique to the electric car maker. As pointed out by the Empire State Development, the new deadline is part of a leniency initiative that applies to all companies facing job creation deadlines in the state.
“The economic upheaval and uncertainty caused by the global pandemic continues to have negative effects on businesses and the economy, both worldwide and within New York. As a result, Empire State Development will extend the opportunity for business relief through the end of 2021 for any qualifying ESD partners who continue to demonstrate COVID-19 related economic hardship, including Tesla,” the Empire State Development noted.
Interestingly enough, Tesla announced in February 2020 that its workforce in Buffalo was already over the 1,500-employee mark, including contract workers. However, the plant closed temporarily during the lockdowns, the aftermath of which still seems notable for the EV maker today. The company outlined this in its Form 10-Q, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.
“As we temporarily suspended most of our manufacturing operations at Gigafactory New York pursuant to a New York State executive order issued in March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were granted a one-year deferral of our obligation to be compliant with our applicable targets under such agreement on April 30, 2020, which was memorialized in an amendment to our agreement with the SUNY Foundation in July 2020. In April 2021, we were granted an additional deferral through December 31, 2021 subject only to memorialization in writing by us and the SUNY Foundation, as our operations at Gigafactory New York have not yet fully ramped due to a number of factors related to the pandemic,” Tesla noted.
While the extension provides Tesla with some more runway to ensure that Giga New York is staffed optimally by the end of the year, it does not shorten the company’s 10-year job commitment for the facility. Instead, the extension pushes out the job creation schedule included in its agreement with the state, as per a report from The Buffalo News. Tesla has asked for an extension on this as well.
Tesla has so far not disclosed the exact number of people currently working at Giga New York, though the company is expected to file a report with the state by the end of May. This report should provide details of Giga New York’s employment levels as of April 30, 2021.
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