Rio Hondo College Students Have an Opportunity to Work for Tesla

Rio Hondo College is one of nine community colleges across the US that offers the Tesla START Program. The program allows students the opportunity to eventually work for Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company, Tesla. 

Tesla announced the program’s start in early 2018. Since then, only two colleges in California, including in unincorporated Whittier and San Jose, have offered the program.

The Tesla START Program at Rio Hondo College is a Certificate of Achievement (COA). Students can complete the required courses for the automotive program in a single semester. 

The program only consists of two classes

During the 2022 Fall semester at Rio Hondo College, the Tesla Student Automotive Technician (START) Program course will take place during the first half of the semester. Then, Cooperative Work Experience/Internship for Automotive Technology Related Fields will take up the second half.

After completing the Tesla START Program with an 85% grade, job-ready students will have the opportunity to work at Tesla. 

Besides being one of the only schools in the nation to offer the Tesla START Program, Rio Hondo offers a Bachelor’s Degree in Automotive Technology.

In 2018, the first ten students graduated from the Program at Rio Hondo College. They all received a job at Tesla after graduating from the program. According to the College, since the Tesla START Program began, 125 students, across 10 semesters, have graduated from Rio Hondo.

Before diving into the Tesla START Program, instead, students who are 18 years old can apply to Tesla’s Pathway to START Program. The program features online lessons and hands-on training. 

The Pathway Program is an eight-week-long program meant to prepare students for the semester-long Tesla START Program.