This fall, Texas State Technical College’s campus in Fort Bend County will host the Tesla START training program. The college is also in the process of building the Faraday Center, a facility expressly designed and built to support electric vehicles. It is slated to open in February 2022. (Courtesy TSTC)
This fall, Texas State Technical College’s campus in Fort Bend County will host the Tesla START training program—the second program of its kind in Texas.
Students can still apply to be a part of the first cohort for Tesla on the Fort Bend County campus. As a Tesla-paid hourly intern, students develop technical expertise and earn certifications through a blended approach of in-class theory, hands-on labs and self-paced learning.
The 12-week training program begins in October with students who will learn the skills necessary to become advanced electric vehicle technicians at Tesla. Kori Bowen, senior executive director of Workforce Training at TSTC, said Tesla selects usually selects eight to 10 students.
“The first day of class in Fort Bend is September 30,” Bowen said. “It’s a 12-week program.”
As a Tesla-paid hourly intern, students develop technical expertise and earn certifications through a blended approach of in-class theory, hands-on labs and self-paced learning. The estimated cost of the program is $2,700. In addition, students are paid $15 an hour and receive full health benefits while in the program.
“That does help the community because it is upskilling to a brand that is very much in demand, very popular and very green,” Bowen said. “We’re helping to contribute to a better environment as well as a better economy through this initiative.”
Bowen added the Tesla START program represents a noncredit workforce training to begin a career with the cutting-edge company. In Waco this fall, TSTC associate degree holders will have the chance to earn an advanced technical certificate through the Tesla START program. The opportunity will open soon afterward for TSTC students in Fort Bend County. All students who successfully complete the nationwide program are eligible to work at a Tesla Service Center in the US.
“We are really excited to see that placement in Texas grow as we meet the needs of Tesla in Texas,” Bowen said. “Tesla helps place them not only in Texas but all over the nation. We’re increasing our placement in Texas, cohort by cohort.”
The first Tesla START cohort will be primarily housed in a temporary location on campus. The second will enjoy the new Faraday Center, a facility expressly designed and built to support electric vehicles, when it opens in February 2022.
Bowen said the Faraday Center would be a multipurpose lab designated to fit the needs of Tesla.
“Not only their current needs but hopefully some different ones moving forward into the future,” Bowen said. “The students will receive classroom instruction as well as hands on lab in the same location. They will actually be in the lab for our second cohort that will begin around the beginning of February 2022.”
Randy Wooten, provost of TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus, said since the initial start of TSTC’s campus in Fort Bend County, TSTC has continued to grow in student population and expand its facilities’ footprint.
“Even during the COVID pandemic, the campus continued its growth. The latest addition will be the Faraday Center, a facility expressly designed and built to support electric vehicles and, in a partnership with Tesla, will train Tesla-certified technicians for jobs throughout the region,” Wooten said. “TSTC is proud to have been chosen by Tesla and excited to add their brand to a long list of international companies that look to TSTC for a quality workforce.”
There are currently eight other Tesla START partnerships with colleges in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Washington. The program launched in 2019 and has had more than 300 graduates to date. For more information on Tesla START, go to tesla.com/careers/tesla-start. To learn more about Texas State Technical College, visit tstc.edu. Prospective students can find admission requirements and more details at tstc.edu/workforce/tesla-start/.