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Clock winding down toward key Tesla hiring deadline in Buffalo

A deal with the New York government requires Elon Musk's company to have more than 1,400 employees in South Buffalo by April 1.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — 1,460.

That’s how many employees Tesla is contractually required at its South Buffalo factory. That was the deal with Empire State Development that brought Elon Musk’s company to Western New York.

Tesla got a huge and equipped factory costing just short of $1 billion.

The region was to get jobs.

The deadline for those 1,460 jobs is April 1. According to the deal, if Tesla falls short it owes the state a penalty of $41.2 million.

With less than two and a half months to go, it’s not clear how close Tesla is to hitting that employment mark.

As of June 2019, Tesla still needed to fill 600 more jobs.

Empire State Development was unable to update Tesla’s progress on Friday.

But Buffalo’s mayor did not seem worried when 2 On Your Side asked him about it Friday.

“It’s been a while since we’ve gotten numbers from them but it looks like they will hit the target from everything we are hearing,” Byron Brown said.

But should Tesla fall short, Jim Heaney of Investigative Post suspects the state may cut Musk and Tesla a rather large break.

“I would not be the least bit surprised if there’s an amendment made to let Tesla out from all or some of the penalties,” Heaney said.

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