Tesla starts community college courses to train technicians

MarketsAssociated Press

Electric car maker Tesla Inc. is fostering community college training programs for what could be new blue-collar jobs as mechanics for the growing number of battery-powered vehicles.

A first group of Tesla technicians is set to graduate next week from a 12-week training program at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte. The company said a second group is nearing the end of classes at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California.

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Courses focus on skills specific to electric vehicles such as battery architecture and charging technology, and particularly servicing Tesla vehicles. A spokeswoman said Monday the Palo Alto, California-based company pays for the instructor, curriculum, and classroom or workshop equipment among other costs.

Tesla produces or plans to make passenger cars, a pickup truck and semi trucks.