(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s campus in Fort Bend County will host the Tesla START training program this fall.
It will be the program’s second location in Texas. The first, at TSTC’s campus in Waco, recently graduated its fourth cohort of Tesla-trained technicians.
“I think it’s indicative of the reputation that the Fort Bend County TSTC location has garnered since we’ve been here,” Randy Wooten, campus provost, said of Tesla’s decision to expand its program within TSTC. “It shows that they have faith in what we’re doing. We have credibility — all of TSTC does.”
There is still an opportunity to be a part of the first cohort for Tesla on the Fort Bend County campus. Cohorts typically include eight to 10 students, whom Tesla selects to participate.
Students will begin the 12-week training program in October to learn the skills necessary to become advanced electric vehicle technicians at Tesla. 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. Students are paid $15 an hour and receive full health benefits while in the program. Prospective students can find admission requirements and more information at tstc.edu/workforce/tesla-start/.
A background in automotive repair is strongly encouraged for those wishing to apply to the Tesla START program. Relevant military service can be substituted for experience.
“That does help the community because it is upskilling to a brand that is very much in demand, very popular and very green,” said Kori Bowen, senior executive director of Workforce Training at TSTC. “We’re helping to contribute to a better environment as well as a better economy through this initiative.”
Bowen added that 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 United States.
“Tesla helps place them not only in Texas, but all over the nation,” Bowen said. “We’re increasing our placement in Texas, cohort by cohort.”
That growth is mirrored in TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus, which has continued to expand, Wooten said. While 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.
“We’re very sensitive to our community,” Wooten said. “This is one more indication that we’re in it for the long haul. We’re going to do everything we can to make this community successful and have companies come here.”
There are currently eight other Tesla START partnerships with colleges in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Washington. The program was 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.
Learn more about Texas State Technical College at tstc.edu.