- Electric carmaker Tesla said it continues to meet the local hiring goals set out by the state of Nevada for its $5 billion gigafactory, despite some reports to the contrary, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.
- The company issued a statement Thursday that stated even though construction on the battery plant started later than first projected, it has met state investment and job creation requirements. The company received $8 million in tax credits from the state this week.
- According to Tesla, it currently has 850 full-time employees at the Nevada facility. The Gazette-Journal noted that figure is 50% of the number of employees the company said in 2014 would be working on the site by now, but Tesla said officials were satisfied with the revised figure.
In order to take advantage of $1.3 billion in state tax credits, Tesla promised to hire 50% local residents.
This isn’t the first time that Tesla’s hiring practices at the plant have come into question. In March, construction workers walked off the job after union representatives accused New Mexico-based contractor Brycon Corp. of hiring construction personnel from out of state. According to the disgruntled workers, Brycon used the required number of Nevadans but turned to out-of-state labor as its workload became more demanding. The workers returned to the job soon after but vowed to keep an eye on how many local residents were being put to work.
In June, construction workers were back to protesting, but this time at Tesla's annual shareholders' meeting. Still concerned about out-of-state construction workers, building trade union representatives also delivered a letter to Tesla CEO Elon Musk demanding that the company live up to its pledge to create good jobs for the workers of Nevada.
Tesla's $5 billion Reno, NV, gigafactory is nearing completion, with delivery of its first cars scheduled for 2017. Tesla, which is acting as its own contractor on the gigafactory, has also made a point of incorporating the latest green technology into the project and said the completed building will be net-zero.
Construction hiring requirements are a point of contention among some developers and contractors, particularly in areas that don't have enough qualified skilled labor to support them. Contractors on the Detroit Red Wings new arena, for example, were recently fined a total of $500,000 for failing to meet the stringent goal of 51%.