Tesla Factory Construction Creates Demand for Labor - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Tesla Factory Construction Creates Demand for Labor

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It's estimated that building Tesla Motors' gigafactory will require more than 3,000 construction workers. That's about a quarter of all construction jobs in our area. Construction was one of the hardest hit industries during the recession, and that appears to be changing. Not only is Tesla building the massive battery factory, but there are many other projects down the pipeline.

Lots of work is happening on Storey County's largest project. Dirt is being moved, cranes are set up, and concrete is being poured. That all adds up to jobs.

"We're going to have an incredible resurgence of construction activity here," Lance Gilman, Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center Principal said. "Probably as busy as anywhere in the United States, today."

Tesla construction jobs are expected to peak within 18 months, and the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center has about 1,000 acres in escrow or contracts that will require even more building.

"A lot of folks will knee-jerk on that because they'll say 'My gosh, all of the impact at one time,'" Gilman said. "It's phasing over a period of years. For example, Tesla will take two or three years or more."

About 12,000 people are in the construction workforce, in our region. There were about 24,000 workers during the construction boom, in 2008.   Many of those have left the industry, retired, or moved away.

"I think some of those people are interested in coming back but a lot of these crafts have traveling workers, as well," Craig Madole, Assistant Executive Director of the Nevada Chapter of the Associated General Contractors said. "We're probably going to have to tap into that and also help develop the next generation of construction employee."

Madole says a shortage of labor is unlikely, partly because there is time to prepare for the influx of construction jobs coming to the area.

"We would like to see that slow, steady growth in the construction industry, that's something that we can maintain and sustain into the future," Madole said.

While building is on the upswing, road construction could also get a boost because of the Tesla deal.

"Depending on how they bid the work, it could take several hundred people to build the USA Parkway, and if the SouthEast Connector gets going here, this winter, that would be several hundred more," Madole said.

"Along these arterials, including USA Parkway and 50, you're going to see a lot of retail," Gilman said. "And retail follows housing. And following the housing and retail is office."

Gilman says some of these construction projects will be lined up for the next several years. So, that doesn't just offer construction jobs, but also sustainability.
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