Tesla is expanding its START Training Program to Austin Community College in Texas. The move is timely with the company’s current construction of its next U.S.-based Gigafactory in Austin, more commonly known as Giga Texas. As Tesla plans to begin manufacturing its vehicles in Austin by the end of the year, the START program will provide the area with supplemental Tesla support, giving prospective automotive technicians specialized training in the art of servicing Tesla vehicles.
The START program was designed by Tesla to give students an intensive, small-group education that would accelerate their chance to be an automotive technician who specializes in electric cars. During the 12-14 week program, students develop the technical expertise and certifications they need through hands-on labs and self-paced learning, giving every student a fair and equal opportunity to pursue a rewarding career with Tesla.
Upon completion of the program, graduates are allowed to transition to employment with Tesla or another company. However, those who choose to stick with Tesla are given a wide variety of locations and Service Centers to choose from for employment.
Currently, there are eight colleges that offer the START curriculum: Rio Honda Community College in Los Angeles, Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina, Shoreline Community College in Seattle, Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, California, Suffolk Community College in Selden, New York, Miami Dade College in Florida, Texas State Technical College in Waco, Texas, and Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio.
However, Tesla is planning to add one more institution to this list: Austin Community College, according to a press release from the college. The college describes the Tesla START program as a training pipeline for high-demand careers at Tesla.
“Tesla believes strongly in collaboration. When business and education come together, we build connections that make college affordable and link students directly with employers so they can go straight into a promising career. ACC is excited to work with Tesla to develop cutting-edge training programs that prepare students for one of the region’s fastest-growing industries,” Dr. Richard Rhodes, Chancellor of Austin Community College, said. “Manufacturing today isn’t what it used to be. It’s about getting creative to design and build machines of the future. Tesla is at the forefront of that innovation, and now ACC students will be on the front lines.”
Manufacturing is a large part of the infrastructure, economy, and employment in Central Texas, the press release said. The industry accounts for $12.3 billion with room to expand, especially as Tesla plans to begin manufacturing vehicles there later this year.
“With the potential for thousands of new jobs at Tesla alone, this partnership will be crucial to making sure the right training is provided for the right jobs,” Austin Regional Manufacturing Association Executive Director Ed Latson, said. “This will be another pathway at ACC for people to find a sustainable and meaningful career in manufacturing.”