The explosion of highly skilled workers being employed at Tesla’s $5 billion Gigafactory has prompted the California-based company to seek temporary housing for its employees from nearby University of Nevada, Reno.
Approximately 30 Tesla Gigafactory employees, with more on the way, have moved into dorms on the UNR campus located approximately 23 miles (37 kilometers) east of Tesla’s massive battery facility. The group of high-tech engineers are reportedly using laboratories at UNR and collaborating with local researchers on an undisclosed project, according to Vice President of Research and Innovation Mridul Gautam. The Reno Gazette-Journal says Tesla requested that details of the temporary housing program not be shared by the university.
One can presume that having temporary housing means that the specialized team is working on a temporary project over the summer and will no longer require housing once the fall semester begins and students return to their dorms. Also, considering Gautam is an internationally recognized expert in the area of heavy-duty mobile source exhaust emissions and heavy-duty engines, it’s plausible that the specialized Tesla team could be working with researchers on the upcoming Tesla Semi, to be unveiled on September 28.
Yet, Gautum says Tesla’s presence at the UNR “is about building relationships,” and suggests that the two are partnering on the development of programs and courses to meet the hiring needs of the battery plant. “We are trying to be responsive and get ahead of it,” said Miles Greiner, chairman of the mechanical engineering department at UNR, according to the RGJ.
Tesla employees are paying roughly $35 a night to stay at the UNR campus. This isn’t the first time the UNR has generated revenue by renting out space to groups. “People come here and see this beautiful campus and what is available on campus,” Gautam said. “They see this is a great campus with the infrastructure for research and development.”