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When we think of American car companies, brands that come to mind immediately are Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, and if you're an AutoblogGreen reader, Tesla Motors. The California-based maker of electric vehicles doesn't treat that lightly, as we find in an article from the San Jose Mercury News, which profiles the company's efforts to reach out to and hire US military veterans. "We want to be known throughout the veteran community as a great place to work," says Tesla's vice president of human resources, Arnnon Geshuri. Tesla appears to be achieving that goal, and is just getting started.

Tesla has risen to the top among workplaces for veterans.

Already, about 300 of Tesla's 6,000 or so employees are veterans, or about five percent, with another 600 vets currently involved in the hiring process. Tesla continues to seek out vets to fill its ranks, and for good reason. VetJobs CEO and president Ted Daywalt points out that veterans communicate especially well with each other, having experience in military speak, which is helpful in the workplace. Daywalt notes that "Tesla has risen to the top" among workplaces for veterans. Tesla works to recruit veterans directly, through word of mouth and veterans groups and at events like job fairs.

For Tesla, veterans also bring special expertise that lends itself well to building electric cars. Besides their technical knowledge about mechanics and electronics, they also excel in teamwork, discipline and leadership skills. Tesla holds regular casual meetings for vets, where they can get to know each other and share their own ideas for how the company can improve itself.

The relationship between Tesla Motors and its veteran employees is a mutually beneficial one. Tesla gets a disciplined workforce with unique qualifications, and the veterans have an easier time transitioning back to normal life when returning from duty. Having a job waiting for them when they get home is a benefit for vets, as is working for a company that is flexible with their schedules for those who are still enlisted. Tesla held employee Megan Gates' position while she was on duty for two years, and she remains comfortable balancing her National Guard service with her work. "I give Tesla my schedule and say 'these are the weekends I need to leave,' and they work around that schedule," she says. "Everyone here is so supportive." Remember the good old days, when Tesla made its employees work like 68 hours a week?

Other veterans have stories of how Tesla has accommodates them while they serve and as they make their way back into civilian life. Read more in the full article from the San Jose Mercury News.
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