Tesla and Miami Dade College have partnered to create the first Tesla START program in the southeast region of the United States.
Miami Dade College is one of six colleges nationwide to implement the program.
The 12-week certificate course will train students to become electric vehicle technicians starting in the Fall 2019 at West Campus. Courses will be taught by Tesla-trained professors and follow a curriculum created by the company.
“Tesla chose Miami Dade College for this program because South Florida has the highest growth market in the region and potential future demand,” said John Wensveen, vice provost of academic schools at MDC.
The Tesla START program’s facility will occupy a quarter of West Campus’ 22,000 square foot warehouse. The workspace will be designed by Tesla and the garage will have six vehicles, two of each current model, to allow students to practice fixing and maintaining vehicles in a monitored environment.
Tesla will provide the required tools, equipment and educational materials to facilitate the program.
“You’ll be able to find all the lifts and different computers that you would see in the real world so that there is no real transition,” Wensveen said in an interview with WLRN Miami. “You’ll be learning about alternative energy technology, electric technology, battery technology, solar technology and alternative fuel technology.”
Tesla will interview all applicants for the program and select 12 students to participate in the project’s first class at MDC. Future classes will be limited to 16 students. Students may apply through the START portal on MDC’s website.
The course is a full-time commitment. Classes will be Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an internship on Saturdays at a Tesla service shop as well as self-studying in the evenings.
“The strategic alliance with Tesla will expand the opportunities to recruit, train and hire locally, helping in that way the development of the alternative energy field with a concentration on the technology of electric vehicles,” Wensveen said.
Requirements to be considered for the program are a high school diploma, a driver’s license and basic computer knowledge. Students will receive a $9.46 an hour stipend for their full-time commitment to the program.
Upon graduation, students will have completed 800 hours of training with Tesla vehicles and the company will place them in their preferred service center.
“We’re working with some of the best automotive education programs in the country to educate students on electric vehicle technology and our unique approach to customer service to prepare them for a career at Tesla,” the electrical car manufacturer said in a statement provided to The Reporter. “Students graduate with a full-time job, certification and the skills necessary to succeed in the growing electric vehicle industry.” .
More information about the program will be released at the eMerge Americas technology conference being held April 29-30. To apply, prospective students may visit www.mdc.edu/tesla/