Tesla says it’s meeting jobs benchmarks at Nevada factory

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Electric car manufacturer Tesla Motor Co. says it is meeting revised hiring goals at a giant northern Nevada battery manufacturing plant that’s been promised $1.3 billion in state tax incentives.

In a statement Thursday, the company disputed reports that it’s behind in hiring.

It says construction started late, and state officials are satisfied Tesla is meeting investment and job-creation benchmarks.

The state awarded Tesla $8 million this week in transferable tax credits.

Tesla says it has 850 full-time employees at its Gigafactory off Interstate 80 east of Sparks.

That’s half the 1,700 jobs the company told state lawmakers in 2014 that it would create before January 2017.

But it’s more than twice the 331 that an auditor reported Monday.

The company says the audit count was almost six months ago.

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