- Associated Press - Monday, March 26, 2018

CHARL0TTE, N.C. (AP) - Electric car maker Tesla Inc. is fostering community college training programs for what could be new blue-collar jobs as mechanics for the growing number of battery-powered vehicles.

A first group of Tesla technicians is set to graduate next week from a 12-week training program at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte. The company said a second group is nearing the end of classes at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California.

Courses focus on skills specific to electric vehicles such as battery architecture and charging technology, and particularly servicing Tesla vehicles. A spokeswoman said Monday the Palo Alto, California-based company pays for the instructor, curriculum, and classroom or workshop equipment among other costs.

Tesla produces or plans to make passenger cars, a pickup truck and semi trucks.

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