Tesla START training program coming to Texas State Technical College

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Tesla Service Center (Photo courtesy Tesla)

WACO, Texas (KXAN) — Students at Texas State Technical College in Waco will soon get the chance to take part in Tesla’s START program aimed at teaching the technical skills to service Tesla electric cars.

TSTC is the first Texas school to be chosen for Tesla START. Students will undergo a 12-week program where they will learn skills unique to electric vehicle maintenance such as battery architecture, charging technology, and Tesla-specific repair procedures.

After graduation, Tesla will help the students find a job in one of the over 100 service centers in the country. There are currently nine service centers in Texas with only one in the Austin area.

So far, 300 students have graduated from the Tesla START program. The TSTC program will begin in March 2020 and the students participating will also be employed by Tesla as hourly interns.

“For more than fifty years, TSTC has worked hand in glove with Texas employers to fulfill their needs for a skilled workforce,” said Mike Reeser, Chancellor & CEO of TSTC. “This partnership with Tesla is another example of the innovative manner in which we place Texans in great paying jobs.”

Recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a buzz around the Lone Star state when he mysteriously changed the location for his Twitter profile to Austin, Texas. He also tweeted a poll asking if he should build a Gigafactory in Texas.

Tesla has a rocky history with Texas as it is one of few states to not allow the direct sale of Tesla vehicles.

In 2019, Senate Bill 1415 was introduced and many feared it would stop Tesla owners from accessing service centers for their vehicles in the state. State Senator Kelly Hancock described the concerns as “unfounded,” stating that the bill would not have impacted Tesla service centers because the bill only applied to licensed franchise dealers and dealerships – not service centers.

KXAN has reached out to Tesla asking about any future plans for Texas. The company has yet to respond.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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