Tesla has begun soliciting local contractors for its Gigafactory Texas, the 4 million- to 5 million-square-foot manufacturing plant slated to start construction in Travis County east of Austin later this year.

The electric carmaker initiated the contracting process one day after CEO Elon Musk's announcement that southeastern Travis County would be the site for Tesla's next gigafactory.

In an email obtained by Community Impact Newpaper, Jessica Munoz, a procurement manager for Tesla, began soliciting contractors and subcontractors for the project via email following a July 23 outreach event for interested local contracting professionals.

"I am very excited to build a contractor base with local talent," Munoz said in the email.

Contractors have to apply through Tesla's prequalification system before they can officially be considered for assignments. In order to qualify, companies must submit standard information about previous experience, qualifications, their environmental policies and Environmental Health and Safety Data and Record. Selected contractors will be required to complete an online safety orientation and COVID-19 training, according to Tesla documents.

Tesla's performance-based tax incentives agreement with Travis County specifies that the company make a "good faith effort" to employ Historically Underutilized Businesses in the design and construction of gigafactory facilities. Travis County HUBs are local businesses certified as being owned by minorities, women, veterans or other "disadvantaged" demographics by either the city of Austin Small Business and Minority Business Resources Department, the State of Texas Comptroller's Office or the South Central Texas Regional Certification Agency.

Tesla is also required to maintain an Owner Controlled Insurance Plan that offers accident protection to contractors and subcontractors, including requiring them to have Occupational Health and Safety Administration-approved training. Tesla must also pay all contract employees a minimum of $15 per hour.