Tesla’s move into Nevada was predicated on promises. The promise to invest $5 billion in a first-of-its-kind advanced manufacturing facility. The promise to create 6,500 new jobs in a state that desperately needed them. The promise of jump-starting a new era of economic development that was driven by technology and innovation. Today, more than four years after the legislation was crafted to bring the Silicon Valley electric automaker to the Silver State, the promises that laid the foundation for the historic partnership have become a reality – and more.
Case in point, a once-empty patch of land east of Reno is home to the Tesla’s Gigafactory 1, a 5.3 million-square-foot facility where Tesla and Panasonic manufacture batteries and drivetrains for Tesla’s vehicles and home-power products. The facility isn’t even 50 percent complete, yet 7,000 workers converge on it daily. Notably, this employee count does not include on-site construction workers, nor Tesla’s 1,000 employees located in Southern Nevada. Tesla has already invested more than $6 billion in facility construction and equipment. Even more impressive: Tesla has invested more dollars and hired more Nevadans in four years, than it committed to invest over ten years.
Beyond the promises for a new facility and new workers, Tesla made a smaller but no less important commitment to education in Nevada. The promise involved supporting educational programs that are focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) as well as creating workforce development programs of its own. Both initiatives will help cultivate a new generation of Nevadans that is better prepared for careers in the state’s emerging high-tech sector. The company’s commitment to education is highlighted by a pledge to donate $37.5 million over five years to schools and educational programs statewide.
Tesla’s first round of giving began last year with $1.5 million in grants to several programs, including nearly half a million dollars to FIRST Nevada and the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation as part of a multi-year campaign to establish robotics programs in every school in the state. Nevada already has one of the most dominant high school robotics teams in the world in Cimarron-Memorial’s Team 987 High Rollers -- I can only imagine what they can achieve with Tesla’s backing.
The company’s grants also include support for programs to train teachers in robotics and STEAM, a STEAM-focused overnight youth camp, and Jobs for Nevada’s Graduates, which provides mentoring, support and career guidance for struggling high school students. Tesla has also partnered with school districts and higher education institutions to create a number of workforce development programs that provide apprenticeships and hands-on training opportunities to prepare the next generation for careers in advanced manufacturing, engineering and other high-tech fields.
The results have been transformative for the northern Nevada economy and, in many ways, the state overall. Tesla has changed the economic development landscape and perhaps most importantly, the narrative, creating credibility and catalyzing investment from a broad cross-section of future-forward companies. While Tesla was not the first nor the only company to diversify our state’s economy though innovation and investment, its global profile is equaled by very few.
Four years ago, much was expected of Tesla when it came to Nevada. Too often, such grand and ambitious projects end with broken promises. This is not the case here. Thankfully for Nevada, Tesla’s vision and commitment to its mission and the state have pushed the company to not only keep the promises it made, but to exceed them. As a result, thousands of Nevadans go to work in new, advanced industries, our economy is more diversified, and our future is brighter.
A POSITIVE OUTLOOK ARCHIVE
||Constructing Economic Growth
|February 2018||Investing in Our Future|
|March 2018||Destination: Nevada|
|April 2018||34 Billion Reasons|
|June 2018||Turning Dreams into Reality|
|July 2018||On Housing and Bubbles|
|August 2018||Pride in Our Schools|
|September 2018||Austerity During Prosperity|
|October 2018||Events, Venues, and the Evolution of Las Vegas|
|November 2018||Economic Legacy|
|December 2018||Vision and Commitment|
||What Is It That Makes a Community Great?
|February 2017||A Competitive Market is a Healthy Market
|March 2017||South Point Bowling Plaza: They Built It and They Came
|April 2017||The Economy and a Better Society
|May 2017||Retail Sales: Another Sign of Nevada’s Strengthening Economy
|June 2017||Entrepreneurship: Key to Nevada’s Economic Rebound
|July 2017||When It Comes to Conventions, Las Vegas Is Serious Business
|August 2017||UNLV’s Hotel College Poised for the Future
|September 2017||Looking Beyond Game Day
|October 2017||Community Is What Defines Us|
|November 2017||A Night with the Golden Knights
|December 2017||Data and Community|
|December 2016||Southern Nevada Housing Market Continues Steady Rise
|November 2016||Jobs in Nevada: Back in the Black|
|October 2016||The UNLV Medical School: Good for the Health of Our Community and Our Economy|
|September 2016||More Workers are Quitting, and That’s a Good Thing|
|August 2016||The Rise of Restaurants|
|July 2016||Cones of Progress|
|June 2016||Nevada and the Autonomous Frontier|
|May 2016||Young Minds Leading Nevada’s STEM Future|
||An Award for GOED Means an Award for Nevada|
|March 2016||Rising Wages and the Strengthening Economies|
|February 2016||North Las Vegas: "What Ifs?" Becoming Realities|
||Evolving Economic Development|
|December 2015||A New Foundation: Economic Outlook|
|November 2015||Committed to Philanthropy|
|October 2015||Celebrating Nevada's Diversity|
|September 2015||The Return of Investment|
|August 2015||What's Working in Public Education|
|July 2015||Metal Rebel: UNLV Robotics|
|June 2015||Housing: Recession and Recovery|
|May 2015||Public Safety Key to Economic Growth|
|April 2015||Working Together: Touro University
|March 2015||Progress and Patience: Downtown Redevelopment
|February 2015||Welcome Forward: Economic Recovery|
|January 2015||More than Low Taxes: Economic Development|