Tesla’s newest factory could likely be headed for Austin, Texas.
While Tesla hasn’t Tesla announced its final decision, it proposed a 5 million square foot plant in Austin that would eventually produce its much-hyped Cybertruck and result in about 5,000 jobs in the area.
But in a heated public meeting, labor advocates and citizens sparred over the incentives laid out by Travis County.
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Tesla is zeroing in on Austin, Texas for a new Gigafactory to build its Cybertruck and even a new headquarters.
Nothing is official yet, but the electric automaker has made its case to local officials in the Texas capitol as to why it should receive some $7 million in tax relief from Travis County to locate there. And in a public meeting on Tuesday, company executives and economic development officials pitched a deal that could see Elon Musk hire tens of thousands of workers.
But of course, nothing the company does comes without criticism and, in many cases, a fight. While dozens of citizens wrote and dialed in to support the new factory and resulting jobs, plenty of others voiced concern over what have been, in their view, past grievances by Tesla and “billionaire playboy” Musk.
Here’s Tesla’s pitch:
As Business Insider reported earlier in June, Tesla has filed a land-use application for a plot of land near Austin’s airport that’s currently a concrete and mining operation. The company, in conjunction with county officials, reached an agreement for massive tax refunds, and presented it for the first time at the public meeting.
Under the terms of the not-yet-final deal, Tesla would get about $1.64 million in tax rebates over the next decade, with the county still receiving $7 million, in exchange for $1 billion in new investment. Tesla officials touted plans to hire more than 5,000 workers for the 5 million square foot plant, in a move that could attract new companies that supply Tesla’s components to the area.
Rohan Patel, Tesla’s senior director for global business development and public policy, said there were three main reasons why Austin caught the company’s eye: availability of workers, partnerships with the local school district for talent, and the site’s riverfront location.
“There’s great potential for recreation and beauty,” he said, “in transforming the old mining site into a sustainable factory with recreation opportunities. That’s a vision that fits perfectly with our mission.”
Another Tesla executive, HR chief Valerie Capers Workman, said the company’s first hire after inking a deal would be to hire a community liaison to ensure a seamless integration with the local surroundings. She also touted partnerships with the school district near Tesla’s Nevada factory and with criminal justice reform advocates.
“Unlike other tech companies who come in and have to make up programs and build it on the fly,” she said, “I’m talking about programs that are already established and things we’re already doing in the community.”
Community members and current Tesla employees phoned in to voice their support for …read more
Source:: Business Insider