Share the gift of Opportunity

Dear Friends and Colleagues of the Tesla Foundation,

We hope this holiday season has been filled with good cheer with family and friends. The Tesla Foundation Family has much to be grateful for this year and we wanted to share some of the highlights with you.

City of Los Angeles Workforce Development STEAM Education Partnership with East Los Angeles College:

“East Los Angeles College is thrilled to partner with the Tesla Foundation and the City of Los Angeles on this ground-breaking program to educate and train our students in Unmanned Aerial Systems,” said ELAC President Marvin Martinez. “ELAC is committed to offering an outstanding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum to our students, and the Tesla Foundation and City of Los Angeles show they share the same commitment through their support of this program. Our college serves a region where the vast majority of residents are people of color and this program represents a historic step in providing access to cutting-edge technology to students traditionally underrepresented in STEAM. This training will increase the number of highly qualified students of color transitioning to employment in the aviation and technology sectors.  Our Engineering and Technologies Department, under the leadership of chair Jose C. Ramirez, will develop 21st century curriculum to meet industry demands.”


Students at ELAC

“Tomorrow’s economy depends on how well we prepare the next generation for the jobs of the future,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Our local college campuses are centers of learning filled with students who have the curiosity, skills, and talent to succeed in L.A.’s growing tech sector. This partnership will bring new opportunities to young people, and help shape the city’s workforce in the years to come.”

“It’s a ‘Kitty Hawk’ moment for the WDB,” said Charlie Woo, Chair of the City of Los Angeles Workforce Development Board. “This partnership launches the WDB into an area of new and emerging technology, and lands it at the forefront of preparing workers for the thousands of high-paying UAS related jobs that will flood the market over the next few years.”


Students at Job Corps LA

“We are honored to partner with the City of Los Angeles and ELAC on this innovative program,” said Tesla Foundation CEO Keith Kaplan. “The City of Los Angeles and ELAC are truly setting the example for the rest of the educational system by establishing this program and allowing equal opportunity and access to NextGen Technologies. Through the program’s technology-focused training and work experience components, participants will learn what it takes to become a part of the gig economy, emerging UAS workforce careers, computer science, cybersecurity, electrical engineering, industrial arts, critical thinking, entrepreneurship, and be poised to secure good-paying jobs and careers. Many will become part of complimentary aviation and technology industry sectors that are transitioning from the Information Age to the Autonomous Age.”

AUHSD Unveils First-in-Nation Partnership With Tesla Foundation

The Anaheim Union High School District is the first public school district in the nation to partner with the Tesla Foundation to provide students with training to successfully work in the emerging technology field of unmanned aviation or drones.


Students at Magnolia High School in Anaheim

A nonprofit science and technology think tank, the Tesla Foundation is launching its initiative beginning at Magnolia High School with after-school programs featuring approved Unmanned Aerial Robotics curriculum, FAA Part 107 Test Prep materials, equipment, Drone Flight Simulation, and real Drones.

“We are excited to partner with the District in this most critical endeavor,” said Keith Coleman, chief strategy officer of the foundation. “Our focus is looking at the future of jobs and the future of work. Automation and the disruption that it will bring is real, yet while jobs will be lost, there will be lots of new opportunities in the (new) field of aerial robotics. Through this partnership, we will help move the needle forward for underrepresented students who may not otherwise have a pathway to these experiences. The Tesla Foundation sees critical thinking and access to technology as the democratization of opportunity.”

Trustee Al Jabbar thanked Superintendent Mike Matsuda for making the connection that led to the partnership. He also thanked the Tesla Foundation for “recognizing that AUHSD is at the cutting edge in preparing students for the 21st Century workforce. Once parents and the community learn about how this partnership promotes innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship in an emerging STEAM field, I know they will be as enthusiastic as we are.”

The Tesla Foundation estimates that the economic impact of drones will be $82 billion within the first decade of their operational integration into the national airspace system. Drone industries leverage many key technologies, including cybersecurity, sensors, data analytics, aeronautics, aviation, advanced and additive manufacturing, precision agriculture, first responders, geospatial information, and simulation.

Superintendent Matsuda said he is grateful for the foundation’s commitment to providing world-class educational, training, and mentorship opportunities to AUHSD students.

“The Tesla Foundation is at the forefront of creating, promoting, and protecting American jobs and companies through innovation,” the superintendent said. “Public-private partnerships such as ours are vital for the development and economic growth of our nation. The foundation is placing their faith in our students’ capabilities and there is no doubt in my mind that the students will exceed their expectations.”

Mr. Matsuda said the partnership will also help build AUHSD’s capacity in addressing the important national issue of cybersecurity since Magnolia High School is home to Orange County’s first high school Cybersecurity Pathway. It will also build upon the dual credit opportunities offered to AUHSD students at Cypress College through its program focusing on the workforce of the future. The long-term goal is to offer these opportunities to all students.

AUHSD and the Tesla Foundation believe that by extending STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) opportunities to all—particularly underrepresented young people who are underutilized in those industries—new jobs, innovative ventures, and a wealth of talent, creativity, and energy will be unleashed producing an engine for positive change in the economy and the nation.

We are creating real change in people’s lives. Lets keep the momentum going!

As we celebrate the coming of the New Year and the Holiday Season with our friends and family we must re-commit to creating opportunities for everyone in all sectors of the Technology Economy. The year end giving season is the perfect opportunity to make your mark for STEAM Education and the continued work of the Tesla Foundation. Remember the ole’ saying, “Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.” This saying is more evident today than at any moment in history as the transition to “The Autonomous Age” moves at the speed of technology. Everyone deserves the opportunity to create the life they want, lets all keep up the good work and chip in!