Tesla’s Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, N.Y., is slated to begin production on solar tiles by fall, and partner Panasonic is heading an effort to hire some 300 new employees for positions that range from engineers and technicians to manufacturers.
The Buffalo News reported that Tesla has committed to bring nearly 3,000 jobs to the Buffalo area, and the joint venture with Panasonic is the latest step toward making good on that promise.
Tesla partner Panasonic will be holding three job fairs to recruit skilled workers for the 300 jobs that it plans to fill at the solar-focused Gigafactory. The first hiring event will be held Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. in the Seneca Babcock Community Center, 1168 Seneca St.
Two more hiring events will take place the following weeks:
- July 18, 10:00 a.m. at Erie Community College North, 6205 Main St., Williamsville. The session will be held in Room 100 of Building K.
- July 26, 5:30 p.m. at the Buffalo Education and Training Center, 77 Goodell St.
The $950 million facility will be used to make solar cells for Tesla’s new solar roof tiles, which will feature a sleek design resembling ordinary roof shingles and tiles. According to CEO Elon Musk, buyers in California could see the tile roll out within the next few months.
The factory is scheduled to start production in two months and will reach full production sometime in 2019. As the factory gets up and running, more workers will be hired.
Despite the good news on production, the factory should have already been up and running by this time, according to The Buffalo News. The facility dubbed “Gigafactory 2” has not yet reached full production as initially scheduled due to SolarCity financial woes.
The partnership between Panasonic and Tesla should provide the factory with the proper means to begin production.
Tesla is planning to oversee factory operations at the facility, while Panasonic will have the more hands-on role of managing day-to-day production.
Panasonic, the company that also produces battery parts for Tesla in the Nevada Gigafactory, invested $250 million into the facility in a deal that will combine technology from Tesla’s original partnership with Silevo, a California company that was working on high-efficiency solar technology for SolarCity.
Tesla, which has received $750 million in state subsidies, has said it will add 500 manufacturing jobs and nearly 1,000 other jobs in positions ranging from sales to administrative roles in the factory. Tesla also said it will bring 1,440 other jobs associated with factory production to the region, including vendors and suppliers.
Tesla Solar currently amounts to a quarter of the nation’s residential rooftop solar market.
The announcement comes after news earlier this week that solar installations have declined this year in the wake of saturated markets, financial issues at top manufacturers and a targeted lobbying effort from traditional power companies.
As lobbyists grapple in Congress over the laws surrounding this technology, Tesla and Panasonic will continue producing for consumers who want to make the switch to sustainable energy.