The first class of students at the Tesla START program at Miami Dade College in Southern Florida are officially graduating this week after 12 weeks of intense study. The program was designed to give students the unique skills needed to work at one of Tesla’s Service Centers while learning about Tesla’s customer-centric approach to servicing its electric vehicles from the source.
This was just the first class, and it ushers in a new generation of educational curriculum at Miami Dade College (MDC). Moving forward, the program will be run out of MDC’s brand spanking new state-of-the-art Electric Vehicle Training Center.
“With the opening of the new training center, students will be able to compete for opportunities in the growing field of electric vehicle service technicians,” said MDC’s Interim President Dr. Rolando Montoya. “The College continues to provide our students with cutting-edge technology training programs in preparation of today’s competitive global workplace.”
At the college, the program is officially named the Career Technical Certificate in Advanced Automotive Service Technology – Tesla Technician Program, but the rest of the world just calls it Tesla START. It is a recognition that not only is the automotive world transitioning to electric vehicles, but that a completely new skillset is needed to speak about the vehicles, assist customers with service needs, and interact with them using cutting edge digital tools.
Coming out of the 12-week program, graduates will have a solid base of service skills that will enable them to become electric vehicle technicians. It is clearly not a masterclass, but it’s a start. On Tesla’s side of things, the company helped build the curriculum for the program as the leading manufacturer and seller of electric vehicles in the country. Tesla also generously provided the training equipment, vehicles, and tools used in the class, which sounds like it would be an entertaining ride by itself.
Because they helped build the curriculum, graduates are primed to jump into a career as a full-time employee at a Tesla Service Center in North America. That’s not a bad jump start into a growing cleantech field if you ask me. For Tesla, it gets a roster of new hires that are not only interested in being hired, but in the industry, and are trained to be effective starting on day 1. That takes a lot of the onboarding off of Tesla’s hands and surely contributes to a higher retention rate for each new hire from the START program.
Across the country, more than 200 students have graduated from Tesla START at the 6 colleges offering it since the program launched in 2018. Both figures are likely to continue to climb as Tesla sells more vehicles each year and adds new vehicles to the lineup. In Q1 2020, the Tesla Model Y will drop like a juicy steak into a pen of rabid dogs into the domestic CUV market, followed by the controversial wedge of a truck that is the Cybertruck in late 2021.
Students and schools interested in learning more about the START program can email Tesla about it directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.