The production plans for Tesla’s newly acquired solar panel factory in Buffalo through its acquisition of SolarCity are not entirely clear. There are a lot of cards at play. Tesla and Panasonic are now going to get involved in SolarCity’s manufacturing of solar cells and solar modules, while the plant will now also produce Tesla’s new solar roof products.

But it’s clear that SolarCity is moving forward with production at the plant since the company has started the process of hiring production workers this week.

The company already has around 40 employees in Buffalo, but they are mostly engineers and management to prepare the plant, which the company took over from the state just 2 months ago.

Now SolarCity is holding a series of information sessions over the next two weeks to find new candidates for production positions.

Kady Cooper, a SolarCity spokeswoman, told Buffalo News that they haven’t determined a final number of new hires yet:

“We don’t have a final number for the first wave. We’re trying to assess what the entry-level landscape looks like first.”

The company is expected to start solar module production in the coming months, while Tesla should start solar roof production in the summer of 2017. That’s when hiring should pick up.

Through its deal with the sate of New York, SolarCity has promised to hire 1,400 workers at the factory. Just like Tesla’s deal for the Gigafactory in Nevada, the company will have penalties if it doesn’t comply with job creation requirements.

SolarCity’s workforce information sessions throughout the month:

  • Thursday – 10 a.m., Edward Saunders Community Center, 2777 Bailey Ave., Buffalo.
  • Friday – 1 p.m., Second Baptist Church, 18 Church St., Lackawanna.
  • Monday – 10 a.m., Buffalo Employment & Training Center, 77 Goodell St., Buffalo.
  • Monday – 2 p.m., Erie Community College North Campus, 6205 Main St., 166 Gleasner Building, Amherst.
  • Dec. 13 – 1 p.m., Martha Mitchell Community Center, 175 Oakmont Ave., Buffalo.
  • Dec. 19 – 10 a.m., State Labor Department Williamsville Career Center, Transitown Plaza, Main Street and Transit Road, Williamsville.
  • Dec. 19 – 5 p.m., Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 710 E. Delevan Ave., Buffalo.
  • Dec. 20 – 10 a.m., The Belle Community Center, 104 Maryland St., Buffalo.
  • Dec. 20 – 2 p.m., Buffalo Employment & Training Center, 77 Goodell St., Buffalo.

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