Academic journal article ATEA Journal

Tesla's Gigafactory

Academic journal article ATEA Journal

Tesla's Gigafactory

Article excerpt

"Wow, this is how you recruit young people into manufacturing" was my immediate reaction upon starting my tour of the gigafactory. Probably after the third time I said that out loud, not to anybody in particular, my tour guide turned to me, probably annoyed, and said "That's why we give tours to educators and students, ONLY educators and students" (and surely major investors). Understand that Tesla operates under a cloak of secrecy; yet they give tours. The gigafactory is situated in the desert outside of Reno/Sparks, NV--not a highly populated region of the U.S.; however, Silicone Valley needs to pay attention to what's happening in the desert and I'm not referring to the feral horses. The quote from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams goes "If you build it, they will come." fits. Walk into the operations room--a giant, wide-open, shared work area with four walls and rows and rows of modern desks of various heights--and you'll see employees (mostly non-Nevada native millennials) seamlessly working and obliviously of our rather large tour group. Elon Musk has created a corporate culture that fosters open collaboration with entrepreneurial and risk-tolerant mindsets.

This tour was a part of the American Technical Education [ATEA] Region 3 and 6 Conference in Reno, NV where Jean-Philippe Laguerre of 3DS Dassault Systemes, said "The innovation race will be won by whoever enables 'new technologies' in the product life-cycle the fastest. …

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