The Assembly Committee on Higher Education unanimously approved Senate Bill 1356 introduced by Senator Scott Wilk (R-Antelope Valley) to provide state funding for a California Institute for Aerospace in the Antelope Valley.

Wilk’s aerospace institute will preserve and expand the industry’s presence in the Antelope Valley and ensure career opportunities in aerospace continue to grow for Antelope Valley residents and those of the greater Southern California region.

“The committee’s decision moves us one step closer to this needed investment in the future of our state through it’s aerospace industry,” Wilk said. “The aerospace institute will provide this vital industry with a workforce for the future and bring industry experts, academic and research leaders in engineering, physics and other sciences, together in one place with students at the graduate level.”

Senate Bill 1356 will provide up to $500,000 annually from the state to match private sector contributions in support of the Institute which will be housed at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster.

“California’s aerospace industry directly supplies over a half-million careers in California with industry average salaries over $100,000. With the establishment of this institute we can preserve and even grow that number,” said Wilk. “We cannot afford to lose our talented young minds. Instead we must educate and engage them in the vital economic driver that is California aerospace.”

Senate Bill 1356 was approved by the Assembly Committee on Higher Education by a unanimous 13-0 vote and will next be heard in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.