Advancing National Service

This Innovative Car Company Makes Employing Veterans Part of Its Mission

July 22, 2014
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This Innovative Car Company Makes Employing Veterans Part of Its Mission
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Tesla already employs 300 former service members. Now, they're pledging to hire even more.

Remember how Tesla recently made headlines when its founder Elon Musk announced his plan to share the design for Superchargers, the quick recharging stations for its electric cars, with other auto makers? Well, Tesla is back in the news with another forward-thinking plan: To hire more veterans as they expand their product lines and workforce.

Arnnon Geshuri, Tesla’s vice president of human resources, told Dana Hull of San Jose Mercury News, “We want to be known throughout the veteran community as a great place to work. Veterans are a great source of talent for Tesla, and we’re going after it.”

Tesla already does an exceptional job of hiring vets: Of its 6,000 current employees, 300 are veterans. Ted Daywalt, president and CEO of the job board VetJobs told Hull, “[Tesla has] a good reputation. They hire veterans who can talk to other veterans. There is a language in the military, and having someone who can speak the lingo is important.”

While some employers have difficulty understanding that military skills can translate into a civilian jobs, Tesla seeks veterans for their technical and mechanical expertise and their ability to work as a part of a team. Veterans employed in Tesla’s human resources department know just what jobs soldiers would be a natural fit for.

Monthly, the company hosts meetings for its veteran employees to talk and suggest ways to improve operations, and it’s more than understanding when employees who are on active military duty need to deploy. Jason Deming, a vehicle test technician for Tesla who is also a member of the Air National Guard said, “HR was phenomenal with my deployment. I can serve my country and save lives but also work on the forefront of technology.”

Greg Reichow, Tesla’s vice president of production, told Hull that the vet-friendly approach aligns perfectly with the company’s goals. “At Tesla we’re not just building cars. We’re trying to transform transportation,” he said. “[Veterans] also know how to lead teams, focus teams and function on teams, and they have incredible integrity and discipline.”

If only other companies would follow Tesla’s lead, the jobless rate amongst veterans could certainly reach the same (lower) level as non-veteran unemployment.

MORE: Here’s A New Website Bringing Unemployed Veterans and Understaffed Tech Companies Together

 

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