Tesla says it is looking for several hundred more workers for its plant in South Buffalo, as production of solar panels and solar roofs increases.
Will Nicholas is a big wheel at the company. The policy manager was at the Pierce Arrow Museum Thursday evening, as people practically crawled over the three Tesla cars on display and kept digging through the cars, trying to find the electric motors that make the vehicles blast off.
Observing that display of interest in the electric cars followed a visit to the plant in South Buffalo, what Nicholas calls Gigafactory Two. Gigafactory One is an enormous Tesla battery plant near Reno, NV. He said the plant is doing well.
"Just eclipsed 500 employees in the factory," Nicholas said. "That number comes from Tesla employees, as well as folks that work for Panasonic, one of our partners that manufactures solar cells and modules that we actually sell in our retail stores and also go into our solar roof products."
Nicholas said there is another hiring workshop Friday at the Buffalo Employment and Training Center. The automaker is looking for employees from production to very highly educated engineers. All employees will work at Riverbend, said to be half-full now.
He also said there will be solar panels and roofs made along the Buffalo River going on buildings in Western New York this year.
"We totally expect to install New York-made product this year," Nicholas said. "They're meant to blend in with your home's esthetic, and so we're going to offer four different types of solar roof tiles: smooth and textured glass, slate and Tuscan. And so, instead of having the esthetic of a black solar roof panel on top of your roof, it's going to be one and the same and we worked really hard to engineer them."