College collaborating with Tesla to create opportunities


Angelica Johnson, Staff Writer

Education and technology are coming together like never before as Los Medanos College and Tesla will officially announce their collaboration Dec. 3 from 6 to 7 p.m. via Zoom during LMC’s first-ever virtual Tesla Manufacturing & Robotics Info Session.

This collaboration could lead to many opportunities for students in the Process Technology Department and the Electrical and Instrumentation Technology Department, as well as for students from similar departments, to partner with Tesla and work alongside company representatives as they complete their education at LMC.

“I would encourage all PTEC/ETEC, Welding, Automotive Tech, Engineering, STEM-interested students, and any other students curious about Tesla, renewable energy, technology to attend the info sessions,” said Career Technical Education Counselor Camille Santana. 

Known for many of its successes within its various programs, especially in their PTEC/ETEC department, LMC was a sure pick for Tesla for this new collaboration that will be revolutionary for the students of the technological and manufacturing departments on campus.

“Tesla reached out to LMC initially to learn more about our Electrical and Instrumentation Technology program, which is part of the in-demand advanced manufacturing sector. LMC has one of the only ETEC programs in the state and a great reputation among regional employers,” said Bill Bankhead, program manager of LMC’s Workforce and Economic Development Department. 

He explained that Tesla already employs a number of LMC graduates, including one of Tesla’s recruiters who is working behind the scenes with LMC faculty involved in the program. One of the main goals of this collaboration with Tesla is for the company to add more strength into their workforce pipeline by hiring trained students straight from LMC. 

“The company is also building a special web page for LMC students so that their applications are flagged for special consideration. All qualified LMC applicants will receive at least a screening interview. Tesla is also engaging with faculty to participate in program advisory boards and sharing ideas for more real-world examples and projects to embed in classes,” said Bankhead.

This partnership between Tesla and LMC officially kicks off in spring 2021, so PTEC/ETEC students can expect a lot of bonus additions to their curriculum when the semester starts in late January. 

“We are expanding our outdoor lab to add more hands-on activities. This includes a workbench with tools to work on flanged piping systems. We also have an air-operated diaphragm pump lab to simulate logistics operations such as truck and trailer filling operations,” said PTEC/ETEC Department Chair Mike Kean. 

He also emphasized the programs’ commitment to process safety, an important fundamental of modern manufacturing operations that will be a huge part of the collaboration with Tesla. 

But for how these plans will roll into effect next semester, the virtual protocols that are in place today due to the ongoing pandemic will also be the same standards for how these meetings and information  event sessions will occur in the near future. 

For more information on the Tesla-LMC information sessions please contact CTE Counselor Camille Santana, PTEC/ETEC Dept. Chair Mike Kean or LMC’s Workforce and Economic Development Department Manager Bill Bankhead.