In the span of just one day, Savannah Mantanona graduated from her Henderson high school and sealed her future employment with a major company.
She is one of 15 recent graduates in Clark County who will join Tesla’s workforce at its Gigafactory in Northern Nevada. The students, decked out in Tesla hats, took part in a ceremony Tuesday at UNLV.
Mantanona, from Basic Academy, did a little dance on stage as the ceremony drew to a close.
She was never particularly interested in manufacturing, she said, noting that she originally wanted to be an English teacher. But when she found out about the program through Jobs for America’s Graduates, she signed up.
“With this program, I was like, ‘I don’t know if I don’t try,’” she said.
The employment offers are part of Tesla’s manufacturing and development program, which is signing roughly 50 recent graduates across the state this year in its third batch of recruiting for its factory in Sparks.
Students work for $17 an hour on the assembly line or doing other work while also earning 20 credits in a manufacturing and robotics course that may count toward an associate’s degree at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno.
The program is in addition to a $37.5 million, five-year investment in education that the company committed to Nevada in 2018.
On Tuesday, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced science, technology, engineering and math fellowships for four teachers and one student as part of that investment. The fellows will help develop curriculum for new K-12 state standards on automation technology.
The investment also includes the Robotics Academy of Nevada, which offers free five-day summer training sessions for teachers.