Tesla plans to spend $700M+ to expand the giant Austin plant

Tesla plans to spend $700M+ to expand the giant Austin plant

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Central Texas’ largest manufacturer is poised to get even bigger.

Tesla plans to pour $717 million into building an additional 1.4 million square feet of space at its giant factory in Austin. Plans call for construction and completion of four new buildings at 1 Tesla Way, starting at the end of this month.

That’s all according to plans submitted to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation Jan. 9 and obtained by KXAN’s media partners in the Austin Business Journal.

Less than a year after opening the mega-plant, Bryce Bencivengo of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce said the automaker has already diversified the local economy.

“Obviously we’re still a tech city and most of the jobs we added in Austin were in technology, but right behind that, the second largest growing sector of our economy was in the auto industry,” he said.

Bencivengo said the growth includes not just Tesla, but other companies that supply parts to the company.

He said another expansion could also lead to an increase in employment numbers.

“We think there will be a huge opportunity for them to get … additional, high-paying jobs in the area,” Bencivingo said.

The company said its existing facility will need 10,000 workers and has teamed up with Del Valle ISD and Austin Community College to train and hire.

“We can move very quickly as a team and we can grow,” said a Tesla spokesperson at an ACC event showcasing the Tesla START program in 2021.

The 14-week training program prepares technicians for the new Gigafactory.

Laura Marmolejo, Associate Dean for Advanced Manufacturing at ACC, has been involved with Tesla START since its inception.

“Over the past year and a half, we’ve received over 3,000 inquiries,” she said.

Marmolejo received the news of a possible Giga Texas expansion.

“It’s exciting, because it means there are more opportunities for people in Central Texas to get work,” she said.

She said Tesla selects students for ACC’s Tesla START program and ACC trains them.

The ACC also trains students that Tesla selects from Del Valle ISD to be future workers, it said.

“This is one program that takes high school graduates straight to work and they start a seven-week internship with us. And then they go to work after that,” Marmolejo explained.

Four new buildings may start commissioning this month, but there are still lingering issues from the original factory build.

In November, dozens of people who built the massive factory said Tesla’s contractors and subcontractors had not followed safety protocols and still owed workers money.

said Juan Benitez of the Workers Protection Project, a group that has filed complaints with the Labor Department on behalf of workers.

Tesla is the second-largest employer in Austin this week signaling that it’s time to build for the coming years, despite the uncertainty looming over the coming year.

According to ABJ, Apple also filed similar paperwork to invest about a quarter of an additional billion dollars in the construction of new office buildings on the North Side.

On the other hand, tech giants such as Amazon and Facebook have indicated that they will cut local jobs for the foreseeable future.

#Tesla #plans #spend #700M #expand #giant #Austin #plant

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *