When we think of American car companies, brands that come to mind immediately are Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, and if you're an AutoblogGreen reader, Tesla Motors. The California-based maker of electric vehicles doesn't treat that lightly, as we find in an article from the San Jose Mercury News, which profiles the company's efforts to reach out to and hire US military veterans. "We want to be known throughout the veteran community as a great place to work," says Tesla's vice president of human resources, Arnnon Geshuri. Tesla appears to be achieving that goal, and is just getting started.

Tesla has risen to the top among workplaces for veterans.

Already, about 300 of Tesla's 6,000 or so employees are veterans, or about five percent, with another 600 vets currently involved in the hiring process. Tesla continues to seek out vets to fill its ranks, and for good reason. VetJobs CEO and president Ted Daywalt points out that veterans communicate especially well with each other, having experience in military speak, which is helpful in the workplace. Daywalt notes that "Tesla has risen to the top" among workplaces for veterans. Tesla works to recruit veterans directly, through word of mouth and veterans groups and at events like job fairs.

For Tesla, veterans also bring special expertise that lends itself well to building electric cars. Besides their technical knowledge about mechanics and electronics, they also excel in teamwork, discipline and leadership skills. Tesla holds regular casual meetings for vets, where they can get to know each other and share their own ideas for how the company can improve itself.

The relationship between Tesla Motors and its veteran employees is a mutually beneficial one. Tesla gets a disciplined workforce with unique qualifications, and the veterans have an easier time transitioning back to normal life when returning from duty. Having a job waiting for them when they get home is a benefit for vets, as is working for a company that is flexible with their schedules for those who are still enlisted. Tesla held employee Megan Gates' position while she was on duty for two years, and she remains comfortable balancing her National Guard service with her work. "I give Tesla my schedule and say 'these are the weekends I need to leave,' and they work around that schedule," she says. "Everyone here is so supportive." Remember the good old days, when Tesla made its employees work like 68 hours a week?

Other veterans have stories of how Tesla has accommodates them while they serve and as they make their way back into civilian life. Read more in the full article from the San Jose Mercury News.


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  • 45 Comments
      • 5 Months Ago
      They don't hire older vets.
        Nick Kordich
        • 5 Months Ago
        It sure feels like nobody hires older anybody, civilians or veterans. In California's tech sector, if you walk into a job interview and you're over 40, you're probably going to be older than the hiring manager - don't look surprised if he's half your age. During their boost phase, startups hire people who will work 80 hours a week for options. That can be a hard sell to people with families or retirement closing in. The philosophy is to "hire for the right attitude and we'll teach them the technical specifics since we'll need to train them regardless." The unwritten aspect of that's that youthful enthusiasm means more than work experience at a certain point, in spite of asking for 8 years experience on the req. As the company grows, they promote from within and try to maintain a flat hierarchy. That results in 20 somethings overseeing the people doing the jobs that they were doing a year ago. Even without going as far as actively discriminating against someone based on age, their ideal candidate to replace them in their old job is going to be someone like themselves when they started, instead of someone who had done that job and then went on to be a team lead or manager. That's when "overqualified" takes on an ominous tone. For what it's worth, however, of the seven level 2 contacts I have in Linked in who work at Tesla Motors, the one who's a vet is over 40 and just started there 4 months ago. I agree that it's hard for anyone over 40 seeking jobs, but I haven't seen any evidence that Tesla makes it harder.
      Electron
      • 5 Months Ago
      Guess some of them saw up close what oil dependency and petrodollar fuelled extremism does to this planet. Might be an extra motivation to work for a company that seeks to reduce the problems that come with oil addiction. Great initiative!
      Weapon
      • 5 Months Ago
      And they also understand the foolishness of sending troops to their death for oil in foreign countries.
        danfred311
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Weapon
        No they don't. If they did they would never be dumb enough to join the military in the first place
          danfred311
          • 5 Months Ago
          @danfred311
          bluepongo, are you seriously saying that because it can get up in the air in a crash it's not too heavy? wow that's stupid. yes I have been saying it's too heavy and guess what, it is.. see how that works
          bluepongo1
          • 5 Months Ago
          @danfred311
          Says the idiot who has been saying the Model S is too heavy ad nauseum, in the second high speed accident reported here it went airborne again.
          bluepongo1
          • 5 Months Ago
          @danfred311
          Form follows function, weight is proportionate to power with Tesla Motors vehicles. I don't expect someone who regurgitates truisims and hearsay , (like a typical spoon-fed closed-minded fanatic ) would understand concepts .... just squalk what you're told. You know, maybe if you spent less time squalking "too heavy, light & aero " you'd spot some aliens. Your way doesn't work because you're poor and don't contribute anything of value to anyone. :-P
          purrpullberra
          • 5 Months Ago
          @danfred311
          Again, you completely, 100%, misunderstand even the most simple of honest comments, you ignorant pig. He is referring to Tesla knowing the futility of warring over oil. Why do you force nice folks like me to join you in the gutter just so I can dropkick you in the Nutz verbally time and time again? I find it hard to believe one of your therapists hasn't killed you. :-[ And yes that terribly mean (and honest) comment is proportional to your stupidity so it is in no way abusive.
      Mark
      • 5 Months Ago
      There goes my hope as a civilian.
        DarylMc
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Mark
        Since Tesla has only 1 in 20 staff from military background I wouldn't be so quick to lose hope. While it is an innovative company making exciting products I'm sure the jobs have the same things to gripe about as any. If you really want to work there I would be more concerned about making sure you have plenty to offer the company. Sure that may not be enough but it has to work out better than worrying about what they can offer you which is exactly how your post came across. Good luck
      DarylMc
      • 5 Months Ago
      Nice work Tesla. Best wishes fellas. I hope you enjoy your time working with such an innovative company on such an excellent vehicle.
      LEONARD
      • 5 Months Ago
      They don't hire you if your over 35 or Black even with an Ev car background : (
        Dave D
        • 5 Months Ago
        @LEONARD
        That's quite a claim, do you have anything to back that up, or do you just like saying slanderous sh*t? Sources? Stats? No? Just another guy with a mouth?
      Levine Levine
      • 5 Months Ago
      Hiring veterans is a great idea. Best to screen out those suffering from post-combat traumatic syndrome. There's some real psycho out there. Otherwise, the whole program can back fire.
        purrpullberra
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Levine Levine
        There is no need to further stigmatize vets by blindly and firstly bringing up the PTSD card, for lack of a better phrase. I'm sure you didn't really mean it that way. But still, it is an issue but not paramount to the general discussion of hiring vets. Maybe so in a discussion about serving vets heath needs. But traumatized people need to be noticed by employers and helped no matter who they are. Generally traumatized folks end up on disability. Psychos are very hard to find beforehand. And of course vets with PTSD are not psychos.
        Joeviocoe
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Levine Levine
        @ Levine Levine --"Best to screen out those suffering from post-combat traumatic syndrome" PTSD comes in all forms... only a small minority could ever really get go crazy. Many, believe it or not, just suffer from anxiety when they hear a specific type of noise. For some, it is the distinctive 'pop'. For others, a sub-sonic 'thumph' of an impact tremor. There is very little on a vehicle production line that sounds like combat... even the stamping machines sounds nothing like it. July 4th is bigger problem for PTSD vets than employment... and many simply have to travel out of town for a few days to avoid it. (or play loud bass music on big speakers/headphones to drown it out).
        Dave D
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Levine Levine
        Wow, that's...special. So we're going to take a group who've served our country and start to find ways to discriminate against them? Why don't we dig into everyone's background and see if they were ever victims of child abuse, or rape, etc. I mean, hey, who knows what kinds of bad behavior might result from being exposed to terrible stuff so we should sniff them all out and further victimize them all! Brilliant idea. Wow, sometimes I wonder if people ever bother to think before they say sh*t.
          danfred311
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Dave D
          they didn't serve your country Dave. you are violently ignorant in this regard. they did great disservice to your country. they made you guilty of megacide based on obvious lies. that's a simple fact. they lied. I don't know what familiar background that cause your otherwise decent mind to be so corrupted but they are scum. they are trash. the us military is pure evil. those in it are top of the line idiots and they need you to have the backbone to tell them the truth. as long as you mindless sheep of USA keep praising them for the evil they do then it continues and one day it will come back to bite you hard. when USA is that evil, your future is in jeopardy. you think you are untouchable but so did rome. you will fall.
      danfred311
      • 5 Months Ago
      Ignorant, Elon. To be willing to go to war based on obvious lies you have to have a pretty low quality mind.
        Grendal
        • 5 Months Ago
        @danfred311
        Whether you believe in what they do has nothing to do with the fact that these soldiers (Dutch soldiers too) are acting on your behalf. They, like policemen and firemen, risk their lives to protect your life in some way. That is a noble effort on their part. Politics and governments send them out to do their work as an instrument of that government. If they represent your government, then they represent you since you live in that country whether you disagree with the politics or not. You should respect the fact that they are willing to risk their lives and possibly die to protect your life and your way of life. That how I see it.
          DarylMc
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          Dan Nazi Germans were defeated by the very same type of people you are criticising. You are a deluded troublemaker who only does harm to the causes you claim to support.
          danfred311
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          I'm danish. That's Denmark. Not Holland which is dutch. and no those lost idiots don't act on my behalf. try to realize that you need me to be guilty next to you so you don't have to think about what you've done. you are all so weak minded. as time goes by you embrace the lie that what was done was probably good on some level. you are the reason that nazi germany could take place. so pathetic that you don't even dare to remember the evil that is done in your name.
        bluepongo1
        • 5 Months Ago
        @danfred311
        I'm sure it's not that you're a keyboard coward that you didn't serve, it's just that : you, your family, your community and your irrelevant second rate fifedom aren't worth fighting for.
        DarylMc
        • 5 Months Ago
        @danfred311
        Dan There is a big difference between having a political opinion and the hate filled garbage you come out with sometimes. If you must do it please save it for somewhere other than ABG.
          DarylMc
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DarylMc
          I am not a genius but you can thank me later.
          danfred311
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DarylMc
          satan has you well trained. they start wars based on obvious lies and kill millions of people yet I'm the hate filled one. how mindless can you be.
          DarylMc
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DarylMc
          Dan That has nothing to do with the article and does not justify your insults. Tesla is not employing ex military to kill people. They are employing a few to work on electric cars. Many people in the world and probably a good percentage of Americans don't entirely agree with a lot of the military conflicts America gets involved in. Yet here you are attacking the ex soldiers when the opportunity arises for them to be working on something quite positive. Instead of blaming Satan you should have a bit of a look at yourself. Many other people here are able to express an opinion without going to the point of being so offensive or abusive that they are banned from the site.
        Dave D
        • 5 Months Ago
        @danfred311
        Dan, You're making a very bad assumption and asserting a cause/effect relationship from people who serve in the American military. The majority of our military fall into a few categories: 1) They come from a background where their family was military and they were brought up with a sense of duty to be in the armed forces and serve/protect our country. 2) People who are very poor and the military is one of the few routes that gives them a way out of their current lives. 3) People who were affected by 9/11 and only know our military as a way to fight back and protect against terrorists or others who want to harm us. All three groups assume the people in charge will make rational decisions about when we go fight and who. They have no say in that and assume that the President and the US Congress aims them in the right direction. They are just doing the duty to "defend and protect" our country that their oath's require. The people you should be blaming are the US Presidents starting with Nixon who cut a deal with the Shah of Iran to insure a cheap, steady flow of oil to keep the US economy running. And every President since has made it worse, or done nothing to make it better. And our Congress? My God what a pathetic group of scum who will take any money from military lobbyists and insists on getting us into conflict after conflict....and the Presidents join right in doing the same thing. And we keep electing them. If you want to blame someone, you should be p*ssed at American politicians and the voters who keep putting them back in office. Blaming the poor bastards who get sent off to be maimed and killed? No, that is very misplaced and you're very wrong. By the way, if you look at American dead in all wars throughout our history, by far, we have more casualties among the poor than any other group. They end up being the cannon fodder we use up. Per Capita, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, our poorest states have way more casualties. You're essentially blaming poor people for being poor and being used by rich a**holes like that incredibly evil "human being" Dick Cheney.
        purrpullberra
        • 5 Months Ago
        @danfred311
        Took a go on the insane demented spin-orama toy that rules your sad life again huh? Landed on batsh1+ crazy, cut-up ideas + simple-minded drivel. Well, you still failed. You just pulled off pathetic, as usual.
          bluepongo1
          • 5 Months Ago
          @purrpullberra
          I think it really must have triggered his malignant narcissism when: veterans = desired employees / DF = unemployable alien spotter ( that no one bothers with, except to ridicule.) BTW I forgot to add my eye-roll to my other posts (9_9) X 2
        Ziv
        • 5 Months Ago
        @danfred311
        Dan, for you to go full on ignorant in response to a positive post is just asinine.
          danfred311
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Ziv
          I'm a highly informed genius. You are not.
      LEONARD
      • 5 Months Ago
      Really Dave D i thought it was only me but after following up and talking with other qualified people We found a pattern. I think there are even some suits about to fly. its mainly for their stores and other operations, but i can tell you point blank i was Lied to by the recruiting staff, i hate to bust your bubble but it's true and it will hit the news at some point.
        Dave D
        • 5 Months Ago
        @LEONARD
        Yeah, and I have vendors coming to my door every day trying to get me to buy their products or hire people from their agency...and the funny thing is that all their sales people are hot young girls. Gee, I think I'll sue them because they won't hire my old, ugly, tired a$$ to be a sales rep. Hey, maybe all of us old, ugly people could get back at big Pharma by suing them for not hiring us to hit up Doctors!!! LMAO!!!
        Joeviocoe
        • 5 Months Ago
        @LEONARD
        Someone's butthurt that he's not qualified. You can't even afford to sue, so don't even bother pounding your chest and getting sour grapes.
        bluepongo1
        • 5 Months Ago
        @LEONARD
        Did you try the random capitalization, bad punctuation and no attention to detail department ? :-D
      Sebastian Tristan
      • 5 Months Ago
      Kudos to Tesla.
      usugo
      • 5 Months Ago
      That's the beginning of the end, it was a company with such a bright future
      purrpullberra
      • 5 Months Ago
      It is extremely smart to have a bias FOR hiring vets especially into certain fields. And I think working at a Tesla factory would be an awesome place to land in civilian life. I've had a few friends who've had difficulty finding meaningful work since a lot of the skills developed don't translate very well. But the intelligence, drive and commitment are all top notch. They're perfect for training. This is yet another reason to be extremely proud of Tesla. I'll be even more proud if they refuse to build a gigafactory in Texas until they change the 'law' so Tesla is free to sell direct, further telling dealerships to eff off, which is my #1 reason for being proud of Tesla.
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