By Rick Wells
What’s the point and how genuine is the claim that Tesla builds its cars in America if they do so using labor imported from other countries? They’re American jobs, technically but they’re going to foreigners. Why not just hire our own citizens for those jobs? Has Congress just made it too easy to abuse the H-1B program and get the more compliant, cheaper foreign labor force?
Reuters is reporting that Tesla is recruiting Mexican engineers and will be hosting a three day job fair between May 5th and 8th in Monterrey, Mexico in the lead up to what is expected to be a six-fold increase in production at their Fremont, California facility. Maybe California has deteriorated to the point that Mexicans actually blend in better than people from this country. After all, they already speak Californian, but they’re not Americans.
The company supposedly prides itself on their vehicles being “Made in America,” and from a strictly geographic perspective that may be a true statement. That’s another fine mess they’ve gotten themselves into by locating their plant in California. If they had picked a more rural, normal type of location for a factory, anywhere outside of the parasitic redistributive socialist state of California, they could have spent their money on the underutilized American labor, rather than facilities overhead. Maybe they could have gone recruiting in Detroit or Ohio. They still have American car engineers willing to work in those places and it’s not as if engineers can’t be retooled or updated to a different specialty.
Tesla is recruiting for 15 different types of engineers for work on their robotics and other automated equipment, according to LinkedIn postings. If these brainiacs aren’t smart enough to set up shop where it’s financially viable, does it really doesn’t matter where they get their labor from? Will anybody be working for them in a few years, or are the destined to be the next DeLorean? Reuters reports that:
Mexico boasts a substantial pool of educated manufacturing engineers, with 19 automotive plants owned by global automakers including General Motors, Ford Motor Co, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Volkswagen.
Tesla has been actively hiring in the past few months for assembly-line jobs at the Fremont plant. But finding manufacturing engineers, who are in even shorter supply than software engineers in Silicon Valley, is a tougher challenge.
Doug Patton, president of SAE International, a professional association of automotive engineers headquartered in Pennsylvania, said Tesla’s search for engineers in Mexico underscored a dearth of talent in the industry. “There are many more jobs than engineers, this is an engineering problem across the board,” he said.
U.S. automakers and suppliers will sometimes bring employees from Mexican plants to the United States for short-term assignments, but Patton said he had not heard of any company recruiting on a “wholesale basis” as Tesla appeared to be doing.
That’s a damning commentary on NAFTA, making Monterrey the replacement for Detroit and the consequences of our corrupt Congress allowing rampant abuse of the visa system, H-1Bs in particular. If it’s true that we don’t have the qualified engineers here in the US, which is a highly suspect claim, it’s not because Mexicans are more capable. It’s because Americans have been excluded from the job opportunities and been warned to get a degree in something else. The word is out, STEM field degrees don’t translate into good jobs, at least not for Americans.
And if the student is incredibly lucky and able to find a STEM job at a decent wage in the US, he can’t expect to be able to hold on to it. There’s a foreigner in India, Mexico or somewhere else willing to work for less, and an unscrupulous American company more than willing to sell its countrymen out, and our nation as well.