Tesla Gigafactory 2 will exceed its employment benchmark before its April deadline. The Empire State Development (ESD) organization has yet to confirm Tesla’s announcement, but given the recent nationwide ramp of Solar Roof V3, the numbers may be accurate.
“Tesla informed [ESD] that they have not only met, but exceeded their next hiring commitment in Buffalo. As of today, Tesla said they have more than 1,500 jobs in Buffalo and more than 300 others across New York State. ESD will perform the necessary due diligence to verify the company’s data,” said Howard Zemsky, the Empire State Development’s chair.
According to The Buffalo News, Tesla was required to have hired a workforce of up to 1,460 people to avoid a $41.2 million penalty with New York State, which contributed more than $950 million to Gigafactory 2. The state’s contributions went to the construction of the facility and equipment for it.
🚨 Breaking: @Tesla has informed @EmpireStateDev they have over 1,500 jobs in Buffalo will EXCEED their employment benchmark for the RiverBend facility.— Jack Sterne (@JRSterne) February 26, 2020
Full statement from ESD Chair Howard Zemsky ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/lCXxZLLOZQ
Giga New York is where Tesla produces Solarglass Roof, which the Elon Musk-led company has been ramping recently. Solar Roof V3installations seemed set to ramp back in September 2019. Since the beginning of 2020, Tesla and Elon Musk have been hard at work to install Solar Roof V3 within the United States.
Earlier this month, Elon Musk invited people interested in joining Tesla’s Solar Roof team. He stated that no prior experience was needed, it was free to apply, and Tesla would train anyone hired. These new employees will likely have close ties to Giga New York, where the product is being made.
Tesla won’t just need more employees for installations, though. Since it is also ramping Solarglass Roof production, it will need more hands on deck in Giga New York as well, which may be why Tesla can so easily exceed its employee benchmark.
Recently, it was announced that Tesla and Panasonic ended their joint venture in solar cell production at the Buffalo, NY site. Panasonic shouldered some of the equipment costs for Giga New York due to its business relationship with Tesla.
However, Tesla doesn’t use Panasonic’s solar cells for Solar Roof V3. Panasonic cells made in Giga New York are sold to Japanese homebuilders and other clients. The two companies still work within Giga New York.
Zemksy clarified that the employee numbers did not include those hired by Panasonic. According to the Chair of ESD, Tesla may employ many of the Panasonic employees working since the Japan-based company has decided to distance itself from global solar products.
Tesla April company talk will be from our Giga New York factory, where we make SolarGlass & several other products. Will also offer customer & media tours.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 10, 2020
“[ESD] understand[s] that Panasonic has made a corporate decision to move away from global solar products, but this action has no bearing on Tesla’s current operations nor its commitment to Buffalo and New York State, according to Tesla,” said Zemsky.
“While the New York State Department of Labor stand ready with its Rapid Response Team to ensure that any employees who are impacted by Panasonic’s decision are connected to opportunities and resources available in the region, Tesla has indicated that it intends to hire as many Panasonic employees as it can going forward.”
Giga New York has been quiet before the Solarglass Roof ramp, but Tesla seems to have big plans for the facility this year and the years to follow. Elon Musk announced earlier this month that Tesla will hold a company talk at Giga New York in April, which happens to be the same month Battery Day is supposed to take place. Although the two events might arrive in separate venues and different dates, their proximity with each other reveals how vital the Solarglass Roof ramp is to Tesla as well.
Featured Image Credit: TeslaFollow @PurplePanda88