Hundreds of jobs coming to Tesla plant in Fremont

November 22, 2011 7:12:49 PM PST
It's the news former NUMMI auto workers have been waiting for -- 400 job openings as Tesla Motors ramps up production of its all-electric car in Fremont.

John and Ricky Abraham are brothers and longtime NUMMI employees. They're visiting the NUMMI re-employment center to work on their resumes and to learn how to apply at Tesla, the electric car maker that took over the plant.

While the company's website shows only 23 manufacturing job openings in Fremont right now, Tesla tells us about 400 jobs will open up in the first quarter of next year.

"I was making approximately $30 an hour," says John Abraham. "Tesla, I'm not positive, but I understand it's around $12 or $13 an hour to start."

Tesla says the starting pay will be $16 an hour, plus benefits and an employee stock plan.

John Abraham wonders if his age will be against him. He's approaching 60.

"I'm not sure if they want to put the time in on that person as far as training and such, where a person who has 15, 16 years to go, they'll want to put the time in because they know they're going to be there for 15 or 16 years," he says.

Many have not worked since NUMMI closed on Apr. 1 last year, leading to hardship.

"I lost my house," says Ricky Abraham. "I had to short-sell it."

If hired by Tesla, these workers will have a new start. The automaker says it's looking for the brightest and the best in the spirit of a Silicon Valley startup.

The building says Tesla, but to the thousands of former NUMMI workers who got laid off, it's their Camelot, and they would love to go back there. But the reality is there are far more potential job applicants than there are openings.


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