Senator Butler, Padilla, and Reps. Torres, Napolitano, Carbajal Secure $5 Million in Appropriations to Support Cal Poly/Air Force Research Laboratory Partnership

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Laphonza Butler and Alex Padilla (both D-Calif), and Representatives Norma Torres (CA-35), Grace Napolitano (CA-31), and Salud Carbajal (CA-24), applauded the inclusion of their provision to increase federal funding by an additional $5 million to support U.S. Air Force research on critical aerospace engineering needs. This year, the FY 2024 federal funding law (Public Law 118-47) appropriated $5 million for aerospace engineering systems security integration.

This funding allows the Air Force to increase engineering assistance to accelerate strategic proficiency in novel advanced agile air platform technologies. California universities, such as Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, can participate in the program to develop rapid and secure engineering research and development concepts to protect intellectual property and manufacturing practices for prototype development, expanding opportunities to advance the core priorities of the U.S. Air Force.

“The $5 million boost for Cal Poly’s Air Force program will strengthen the federal government’s partnership with STEM education initiatives in California and invest in new talent coming out of the Cal Poly system. This funding will go a long way in providing budding engineers with the training and skills needed to drive forward innovation and progress in the aerospace industry,” said Senator Butler.

“Strengthening collaborative, hands-on experiences for California students and faculty through cutting-edge research laboratories will bolster our STEM workforce pipeline while supporting aerospace innovation. This funding builds upon the strong partnership between the Cal Poly University system and the U.S. Air Force to help advance key national security priorities,” said Senator Padilla

“This provision is a victory for everyone involved,” said Congresswoman Norma Torres. “Projects with the U.S. Air Force will allow Inland Empire students to excel: receiving premiere hands-on STEM education and the support they need for high-quality careers after they graduate. At the same time, these students will work to improve our national security and expand our country’s capabilities in aerospace engineering. I am proud to have worked with Reps. Carbajal and Napolitano as well as Senators Padilla and Butler to secure the funding that sets my constituents and Americans at large on a path to success.”

“I have been honored to join Congresswoman Torres and Congressman Carbajal in support of these important aerospace engineering projects at Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. These funds will help prepare the next generation of engineers while supporting vital military research and design,” said Congresswoman Napolitano.

“Military-educational partnerships like the one between the Air Force and Cal Poly enhance our national security capabilities and provide Cal Poly students with hands-on learning opportunities that set them up for successful careers when they graduate. The continued support for their partnership in this year’s funding deal will help drive innovation and support the next generation of aerospace leaders, and I’m proud of the work my colleagues and I did to get this funding over the finish line,” said Congressman Carbajal.


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