Will Tesla Gigafactory push up local wages?
Nevada May Spend $10 Million To Educate Workers
Tesla will offer an average wage of about $25 an hour once the Gigafactory opens and will employ as many as 6,500 people, Valuewalk reports, citing Mike Kazmierski, head of the Economic Development Authority for Western Nevada. Minimum wage at the factory, which will employ about 6,500 people, will be about $23 an hour, while engineers will get almost $42 an hour.
Tesla's minimum wage at its Model S production factory in Fremont, CA, is $17 a hour, according to the Detroit Free Press. That could create some Gigafactory-envy from workers in the always-expensive Bay Area. Additionally, the effective minimum wage at non-Tesla businesses in the Gigafactory region is already up about 20 percent from the $10- to $12-an-hour range that was in effect three years ago. Last September, Tesla settled on the Reno area for its planned Gigafactory. The company received an incentive package from the state of Nevada that may be worth as much as $1.2 billion over 20 years.
But Tesla says the reports are inaccurate, though isn't being specific on its wage rates for the Gigafactory.
"We never stated that we will pay Gigafactory employees $25/hour," Tesla said in a statement e-mailed to AutoblogGreen. "While we won't comment specifically on Tesla employee compensation, we did submit an application to the State of Nevada last October which included projections of average hourly wage costs for its operational workforce that were informed by regional wage trends."
There's a small issue with large technology companies like Tesla and Switch expanding to Nevada - the state doesn't have nearly enough qualified and trained workers to meet the expected demand. The shortage has led Nevada lawmakers to consider bills that would allocate nearly $10 million toward high-tech workforce development at state community colleges.
Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Las Vegas, introduced three bills on Tuesday to the Senate Finance Committee that would fund science, technology, engineering and math programs. She said the proposals would help prepare the state for Tesla and other major businesses. The committee took no action on the bills.
The AP contributed to this report.
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