Tesla’s START program is giving people great jobs and rewarding careers

Tesla CEO Elon Musk once said that college “is basically for fun and to prove that you can do your chores, but they’re not for learning.” However, a program that is offered by Tesla at Miami-Dade College in Florida that teaches prospective mechanics how to properly service Tesla’s EVs is making quite the name for itself. It was recently listed as one of six non-degree workforce programs that can lead to a quality job and quality career.

The START program was listed on New America’s “2021 New Models for Career Preparation Cohort: Six community colleges with quality non-degree workforce programs that lead to quality jobs and careers” list, which named quality community college-based workforce programs that help secure good jobs and great career paths without attending college for four years. While New America says that the safest way to a middle-class presence in the U.S. economy is through “a college degree from a reputable, affordable institution in an in-demand program of study,” the organization researched the best way to gain a rewarding career without a heavy tuition bill and time-consuming curriculum. “Non-degree programs offered by community colleges, if designed well, can offer upward mobility for those who need it the most,” the organization says.

Students of Tesla’s START program service an EV battery. (Credit: Tesla)

Tesla’s START program at Miami Dade College was one of six programs picked as the best options to get a high-quality career based on five non-degree workforce program quality criteria. These include:

  • Labor Market Outcomes – Does the program lead to a high-quality job at a living wage?
  • Equity – Is the program accessible to an underrepresented group?
  • Stackability – Can the program lead to future advanced credentials or a college degree?
  • Affordability – Can the program be completed without an overwhelming debt load?
  • Completion – Does the program have a respectable completion and pass rate?

According to New America’s research, Tesla’s START Program at Miami Dade matches each of these criteria. As the electric vehicle industry continues to expand and Tesla continues to establish itself as the leader in EVs, its training program offers an affordable and effective education layout that can lead to a fulfilling job.

The 15-week program prepares students interested in vehicle maintenance for a career with Tesla at a Service Center. While studying, students earn a stipend while completing and effectively understanding their coursework. After completion, the students earn a Career Technical Certificate from Miami Dade College and a Certificate of Completion from Tesla.

Tesla says that the program will help students “develop technical expertise and earn certifications through a blended approach of in-class theory, hands-on labs, and self-paced learning.” Available at eight colleges across the United States, the program guarantees graduates a job at a Tesla Service Center in the location of their choice.

Miami Dade College has hosted the program since 2019. In December 2019, the first batch of students graduated from the Tesla START program at the Electric Vehicle Training Center on the college’s West Campus.

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