Today, Tesla and Del Valle ISD held a signing day event for the school’s 2021 graduates. Several graduates were selected to work at Tesla’s new Gigafactory in Texas, and the Tesla Owners Club of Austin was there to document this momentous event. Tesla has some big things happening and I spoke with both Matt Holm, President of Tesla Owners Club of Austin, and Anuarbek Imanbaev, Vice President of Tesla Owners Club of Austin.
I also spoke with Annette Tielle, Del Valle ISD Superintendent, who shared how excited she was for her students to be able to work at Tesla while representing Del Valle at the state’s first-ever signing day.
“I am extremely proud of our seniors and honored to have them represent Del Valle ISD at the first-ever signing day in Texas. Joining the Tesla team is a great opportunity for them and their futures are limitless.”
— Gail (@GailAlfarATX) May 25, 2021
In the photo below, Tesla’s head of recruiting and workforce, Chris Reilly, was talking to the Del Valle High School’s valedictorian, who will be interning at Tesla.
Over the phone, Matt told me that there were 40 high school students at the hiring event.
“There was a really great energy. Chris Riley was there and there were a couple of other people there from Tesla, 40 really excited high school kids. They had 40 kids out of what I believe one of the kids told me was 300 that got selected to be part of the first, essentially, hiring team from high school into Tesla directly. These kids are going straight to work there starting in June, in some cases — if they’re ready.
“And then in addition to that, they’re going to get some opportunities to further their education at the Austin Community College campus at the same time while they’re working at the Gigafactory. This is pretty amazing. It’s really Tesla making good on the promises that they made a year ago to the commissioner saying that they are going to really get involved with Del Valle ISD and create opportunities that’s unique for the district, and here they are doing it.”
Anuarbek shared his thoughts as well and noted that he and Matt met with the Del Valle ISD superintendent, who spoke about how Tesla’s cooperation is helping the local community.
“That’s the exciting thing about all of this. Tesla is walking the talk, basically. Months ago whenever they first started the construction out here, Tesla promised to be really involved with the local community, Del Valle ISD in general. They’ve had all sorts of partnerships with not only local high school here, Del Valle High School, but the entire school district.
“We met with the Del Valle ISD superintendent and they explained about all of the cooperation and partnerships that they have with Tesla that’s going to really to help the local community in this area where the Gigafactory is located and that area is called Del Valle.”
Tesla’s Keeping Its Promise
Anuarbek also told me that, unlike what Facebook and Google did, Tesla kept its promise to be an active part of the local community — something skeptics were fearful Tesla wouldn’t do. He pointed out that he and Matt actually helped Tesla get involved with the community and the two noticed a lot of skepticism and worries firsthand.
“When Tesla first came into the community here, there was a lot of pushback. People were saying that Tesla is going to come in like Google and Facebook and all these other tech companies and promise the world but not really have an impact on the local community.
“Tesla’s getting super involved with the community before they’ve even finished the factory! They are already offering local jobs. Even the food that was at the event was made by Del Valle high school students. They have a catering program at the high school. They made the cake for the celebration. So, talk about hiring and sourcing locally.”
Tesla may Provide Training Equivalent to an Associate’s Degree
Matt told me that he and Anuarbeck were able to take a tour of the high school and that the school has amazing programs, such as trade and robotics programs.
“The robotics was what is apparently the one they are really curious and excited to have Tesla come in. What their thought is for training on the gigafactory line is that they would be able to have Tesla come in and provide Del Valle the certification that is equivalent to a 2-year associate’s degree training to be able to come in and work on certain robotics areas in the gigafactory line. So that was a really cool introduction to their program they’ve got at the high school level.
I also pitched an idea in the conversation we were having. My first job was a buffet busser for banquets at Hollywood Casino (it has a different name now), and I actually worked while I was still in school. I would go to school half of a day and then work a 6–8 hour shift until I graduated. I think innovative companies such as Tesla would greatly benefit communities nationwide with programs such as these and asked for Anuarbek’s and Matt’s thoughts. I know that Tesla can’t do this for every city and community, but other companies can follow Tesla’s lead and invest in the local communities that they serve.
“The cool thing about this is Tesla’s going to have after-school evening programs where high school students — sophomores, juniors, and seniors — can attend these programs, and if they graduate, they can get a job at Tesla, and if they want to continue their education, it doesn’t have to stop there.
“These students who have gotten these opportunities to work for Tesla at Giga Texas are going to have opportunities once they graduate high school to work full time with Tesla. They can even continue their education with the local Austin community college while they are working at Tesla.”
Tesla Owners Club of Austin Wants to Empower Tesla’s Future Workforce
Matt shared something exciting that the club is trying to put together. The Tesla Owners Club of Austin is almost 2,500 members strong and they are working towards setting up a mentorship program for the students in the Del Valle school district.
“We have quite a few Tesla owners and hopefully some work in the STEM background and we’re going to be working with the school districts ourselves to try to figure out if we can coordinate on mentorship programs for some of their programs.
“It’s really a way for our club to support Elon, the Gigafactory, and Tesla in the long run — by helping support Tesla’s future workforce.”
Fun fact: Del Valle is pronounced “dell valley,” and the community was established in the mid-1870s after Santiago del Valle settled there when a piece of land was given to him by the Spanish government. Almost a century ago, the Great Depression hit the community pretty hard. Today is a bright contrast, as Tesla is helping the community grow and take part in its mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainability.
All photos provided by the Tesla Owners Club of Austin and used with permission.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Latest CleanTechnica TV Video
CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.