Tesla’s factory in Grünheide, Germany officially opened last year, and the site has since accumulated around 11,000 workers. According to a new post from Tesla’s Recruiting account on X, the automaker has also hired as many as 60 deaf people to work at the Gigafactory outside of Berlin.
The Brandenburg Gigafactory has so far hired 60 deaf employees, many of whom are Ukrainians who fled the ongoing Russian invasion, according to the new Tesla Recruiting account on X in a post on Sunday. The post includes a video introducing viewers to a few of the factory’s deaf employees, including Amaliia, Ihor and Andrii.
At Tesla, everyone can have meaningful impact, no matter their background or disability.
To date, 60 deaf employees are part of the Giga Berlin team—a large portion being Ukrainians who fled the war.
— Tesla Recruiting (@TeslaRecruiting) September 24, 2023
The video also includes excerpts from some of the non-deaf employees about their experiences having deaf coworkers on the team.
“We don’t just talk about inclusion and diversity, we simply live it,” says general assembly supervisor Holger in the video. “For me there are no employees with disabilities, they are simply employees.”
One associate manager in the drive unit, Juri, says that the process of recruiting deaf employees began when he was asked if he could integrate five people who were deaf. After starting with just one employee who was deaf, that employee told a number of other deaf people about the job who would later go on to join the team.
Amaliia, a drivetrain production associate who is deaf, says she brought her family from Ukraine when the war began. Her family was invited to Germany by a friend of her husband’s who already worked at Tesla, and the friend also asked her to join the team at Giga Berlin. She says the team has been welcoming and describes Tesla’s team spirit as “fantastic.”
Other deaf employees featured in the video include Ihor, a production associate in the drive unit department of the factory, and Andrii, a production associate in general assembly. Andrii says he was recruited by the general assembly supervisor, Rene, who personally recruited many of the Ukrainian colleagues.
The video also includes a moment with the drive unit supervisor Simone, who says that many of the company’s non-deaf employees have already learned a few words in sign language.
One user in the X thread said that he had previously been interviewed at Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas, though the company shared concerns that a deaf person wouldn’t be able to hear production line sound systems. The user followed up in the thread, asking if he would be able to have another shot at interviewing for a different area of the Austin, Texas factory.
Tesla debuted its Recruiting page on X earlier this month, and this post is only the account’s second, following a repost of a video from the company’s Optimus account.
The post also included a link to Tesla’s Giga Berlin web page, and you can find Tesla’s open positions at the factory here.
The news comes just a few days after a German minister called Tesla the “driving force” behind economic growth in the state of Brandenburg, primarily due to Giga Berlin and its production ramp-up. It also comes after some criticism has been lodged against Giga Berlin by German union IG Metall, with the union most recently alleging that workers were being forced to work excessive hours.
Tesla is currently in the process of gaining approval for expansions at Giga Berlin, set to boost production capacity from 50 GWh to 100 GWh.