Austin Community College will partner with Tesla to launch a manufacturing technician program, creating a hiring pipeline between the college and the electric auto manufacturer.
Students selected for the the 14-week Tesla START program will be hired to work for the company while learning about technology used at Tesla manufacturing facilities, including robotics and control systems. The START program will join existing manufacturing courses at ACC, which offers an associate degree and certificates in Manufacturing Technology.
“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,” ACC chancellor Richard Rhodes said in a news release. “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.”
The inaugural ACC START cohort will begin in August, with new cohorts beginning each month. Applications will open before the end of June, according to the college.
Tesla signaled its intent to form partnerships with ACC and other local universities when it announced the construction of a new gigafactory in Southeastern Travis County last year. It has also already extended hiring opportunities to students at Del Valle ISD, a school district that offered Tesla an estimated $46.4 million tax break to build its gigafactory in the district.
The gigafactory, located at the intersection of SH 130 and Harold Green Road, is on track for completion in 2021. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in the company’s most recent quarterly earnings call in April that the plant could begin producing vehicles, including the new Cybertruck, before year’s end.
Olivia joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in March 2019. She covers public health, business, development and Travis County government. A graduate of Presbyterian College in South Carolina, Olivia worked as a reporter and producer for South Carolina Public Radio before moving to Texas. Her work has appeared on NPR and in the New York Times.