New Program for Jobs at Gigafactory

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Panasonic Image

The Panasonic Preferred Pathway (P3) training program helps teach the skills needed for jobs at the Gigafactory.

Hiring for new positions at Tesla Motors’ new Gigafactory is powerfully accelerating.

“In 2017, Panasonic will be hiring between 2,000-3,000 employees for its battery manufacturing operations for Tesla at the Gigafactory,” according to a Facebook post by Panasonic Energy of North America (PENA).

Production at the Gigafactory in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRIC), Sparks, NV, includes cylindrical lithium-ion cells for electric vehicle batteries and other innovative products based on the use and storage of electrical energy.

Truckee Meadows Community College has partnered with Panasonic to develop an accelerated training program that prepares job candidates with skills desired by the company. It’s called the Panasonic Preferred Pathway (P3) Program.

“The P3 Program is flexible to fit into people’s schedules, and will fast track those taking the program with the exact skills Panasonic is looking for to fill needs in this fast-growing industry,” said J. Kyle Dalpe, PhD, Interim Dean, Technical Sciences.

Among the jobs now posted on the website are Material Handler and Production Operator. The P3 employment credential will offer the specific training for skills needed in these positions. Panasonic reports that there will be many jobs like this opening, Dalpe added.

Jobs: Material Handler

The Panasonic Material Handler (M1) credential is a four-credit series including subjects of safety, material handling equipment, warehouse concepts, Total Quality Management and precision measurements.

Material Handlers work 8- to 12-hour shifts and their tasks typically include the following:

  • Complete maintenance checks on equipment
  • Perform checks of materials using microscopes, micrometers and other measuring devices
  • Deliver materials to the production floor
  • Prepare documentation of workflow in Microsoft Office
  • Communicate and collaborate with other members of the production team

Students completing the M1 series are eligible to move on to the next level, a six-credit Panasonic Production Operator (M2) training course.

Jobs: Production Operator

The M2 coursework is directed to electrical theory, AC and DC motors and generators, Logic Controls and mechanical controls, electromechanical and solid-state devices, circuits, and industrial safety. Coursework will also cover LEAN Manufacturing and process control, a discipline that addresses keeping things like temperature and output within a desired range.

Production Operators also work 8- to 12-hour shifts, and their job description includes the following tasks:

  • Execute maintenance to stabilize machinery and troubleshoot machine problems
  • Conduct performance testing of machinery and quality checks of products and parts
  • Prepare anode and cathode material for winding machines
  • Perform precise weight measurements of materials
  • Communicate and collaborate with other members of the production team

Scholarships and Grants

The estimated cost for the M1 program is $450, and for M2 the estimated cost is $700. Funding help may be available for qualified students, Dalpe added.

“Panasonic is looking for qualified job candidates with preferred skills, and TMCC is prepared to help Northern Nevadans learn these skills,” he said.

For more information about the TMCC Panasonic Preferred Pathway (P3) Program, please contact TMCC’s Technical Sciences Division at 775-856-5300, or visit the P3 interest card request page.