DEL VALLE, Texas - Tesla has broken ground on its new $1 billion gigafactory near Del Valle, which is expected to bring 5,000 jobs to the Austin area.
The giant construction site in Travis County holds more than just dirt. For some, it's a pathway to the future.
"It seems this is bringing the supply chain back to America," Travis County Commissioner Jeffrey Travillion said. "We are going to have the most modern car manufacturing facility in the world in Travis County."
The factory is being built in an area that Travillion says gets overlooked by developers.
"We think it will bring more development opportunities, other places to eat, places to entertain family, we think it will bring a lot of development and investment where historically there has been none," Travillion said.
The Austin Chamber of Commerce weighed in on the impact this factory may have on the region.
"This is huge news not just for Austin but for the whole region and in addition to the 5,000 jobs Tesla will be creating directly we estimate that the innovation that this decision brings on the ground in Austin will bring another 4000 jobs," said Chamber CEO Laura Huffman.
These jobs are coming during a time of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, something that Huffman calls "the best news we could have hoped for."
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If it seems like this factory coming to Austin happened quickly, that's because it did. Travillion says the county had to act fast or it could have ended up in another state.
"It was a long and difficult discussion because Tesla was interested in having a decision made quickly. We understand Tulsa and Nashville were making all kinds of promises to them," Travillion said.
This quick decision led to some hefty tax breaks for Tesla, totaling about $60 million. Part of the agreement though is that some of the money saved must go to local nonprofits and schools like Del Valle ISD.
"This is a school district in need of revenue and they did a brilliant job in negotiating with Tesla and the students of Del Valle will benefit from this," Huffman said.
While it's all dirt now, both Travillion and Huffman say they are eager to see what this factory will bring to the area in the future.