Tesla’s brand-new Gigafactory in Grünheide, Germany, which officially opened its doors last year, has quickly become a symbol of not just innovation in electric vehicle manufacturing but also a testament to the company’s commitment to inclusion and diversity. The site, which has already amassed approximately 11,000 employees, has gone the extra mile by hiring as many as 60 deaf individuals to contribute to the production process at the Gigafactory located just outside of Berlin.
These remarkable hirings have a unique story behind them. Many of the deaf employees at the Brandenburg Gigafactory are Ukrainian, who fled their homeland amid the ongoing Russian invasion. Tesla’s Recruiting account on X shared this heartwarming development in a post on a Sunday. The post included a captivating video that introduced viewers to a few of the factory’s deaf employees, notably Amaliia, Ihor, and Andrii.
What’s even more touching is that the video didn’t just focus on the deaf employees; it also featured insights from their non-deaf counterparts who shared their experiences of working alongside their deaf colleagues. As general assembly supervisor Holger highlighted in the video, “We don’t just talk about inclusion and diversity, we simply live it. For me, there are no employees with disabilities; they are simply employees.”
Juri, an associate manager in the drive unit, revealed that the process of recruiting deaf employees began when he was asked if he could integrate five deaf individuals into the team. Starting with just one deaf employee, word quickly spread among the deaf community about the job opportunities at Tesla, leading to more joining the team.
Amaliia, a drivetrain production associate who is deaf, shared her remarkable journey. She brought her family from Ukraine when the war began, invited by a friend of her husband’s who was already working at Tesla. This friend also encouraged her to join the team at Giga Berlin. Amaliia expressed how welcoming the team has been and described Tesla’s team spirit as “fantastic.”
Other deaf employees featured in the video include Ihor, a production associate in the drive unit department of the factory, and Andrii, a production associate in the general assembly. Andrii disclosed that he was recruited by the general assembly supervisor, Rene, who personally reached out to many Ukrainian colleagues.
The heartwarming spirit of inclusion at Tesla is further exemplified by the drive unit supervisor Simone, who mentioned that many of the company’s non-deaf employees have already learned a few words in sign language.
The post on X also revealed an interesting user interaction. One user in the thread mentioned that he had previously been interviewed at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Texas, but there were concerns about a deaf person’s ability to hear production line sound systems. The user followed up, expressing interest in another interview opportunity, possibly in a different area of the Austin, Texas factory.
Tesla’s dedication to inclusivity and diversity is not confined to its factory floors alone. The company recently launched its Recruiting page on X, and this heartwarming post is only the second from the account, following a repost of a video from the company’s Optimus account. The post also provided a link to Tesla’s Giga Berlin web page, where interested individuals can explore open positions at the factory.
This heartwarming news arrives shortly after a German minister praised Tesla as the “driving force” behind economic growth in the state of Brandenburg, largely thanks to Giga Berlin and its ongoing production expansion. It is worth noting that Tesla has not been without its critics, as German union IG Metall has raised concerns about workers being forced to work excessive hours at Giga Berlin.
Tesla’s journey in Germany is not slowing down; the company is currently in the process of seeking approval for expansions at Giga Berlin, which is set to double its production capacity from 50 GWh to an impressive 100 GWh.