Tesla Motors has already made a name for itself as a leader in automotive technology, but the unconventional company has set itself a new goal: to become a driving force in the employment of U.S. veterans. The electric car manufacturer currently has over 6,000 employees. Five percent of those workers are former members of the American military, and officials say that they are looking to hire 600 more in the next few months.
The company’s workforce has boomed in the last several months as a result of a few new initiatives. Tesla is preparing to launch its Model X crossover sport utility vehicle, while also revving up production of its Model S. The California-based car manufacturer is also looking to expand its overseas division.
Both VetJobs, the country’s leading military job board, and Project HIRED, an organization that helps wounded veterans find work, have praised Tesla for its commitment to hiring former members of the military. The electric car company is known for creating a workplace culture that is especially friendly to veterans. The process is a self-reinforcing cycle: the company hires veterans who then speak to other veterans about their experiences at Tesla. Those with advanced technical and mechanical skills also find themselves particularly at home as employees of the electric car manufacturer.
Tesla Motors is not the only one looking to become a leader in the employment of U.S. veterans. Wal-Mart and Home Depot have also made noteworthy strides in hiring former members of the military. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data that was released on Thursday, the national unemployment rate for veterans fell in June to 5.4 percent. That figure jumps to 6.1 percent when the overall population is included.
The maverick car manufacturer made waves last month when it announced that it would freely share its patents for electric vehicles. According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company held 203 patents at the end of 2013 and had more than 280 more pending globally. The decision was prompted by the company’s goal of accelerating the creation of sustainable transportation, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk wrote on the company’s blog. In the spirit of that mission, he declared the company would not take any legal action against anyone who uses the patents in good faith.
Karl Ulrich, vice dean of innovation at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, commended the company, but added that he believed that Tesla was not really sacrificing a significant amount of substantial information. Instead he argued that the patents were probably not preventing other car manufacturers from creating similar vehicles. According to Ulrich, if Tesla truly wanted to change the game it would have released its engineering notes as well.
A group of Silicon Valley engineers founded Tesla Motors in 2003. Its vehicles are known to be superior to other electric cars, and can travel three times farther on a single battery charge. The company’s list of top-of-the-line proprietary technology includes cooling and safety systems, software and motor design.
The company has made several advancements in the technological arena. If its past accomplishments are any indicator, then Tesla Motors will likely succeed in the field of human resources as well by becoming a leader in the employment of U.S. veterans.
By Yitzchak Besser