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As a champion for our local community, the Chamber recognizes that building a strong local workforce will help strengthen our local economy. We have various community partners we work with on workforce development, as well as programs our local businesses and communtiy members can get involved in to help develop a strong workfroce locally and build the next generation of business leaders.

NextGen CEO

NextGen CEO is a six-week digital business education course that teaches kids the basics of starting their own business. NextGen CEO is created with the theme of opening up a business selling strawberry-themed desserts. At the end of the program, NextGen CEO students will get to open their own dessert stands (or another concept that they created) at the Santa Maria Town Center. NextGen CEO is typically held in the Spring and Fall each year, with curriculum intended for the 6th grade level.

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FBLA Speaker Series

The Chamber partners with Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) to host a monthly speaker series for high school students. Business leaders have spoken on topics including networking tips, job interview techniques, and more.

If you are interested in being a speaker for this program or would like to learn more, contact Yuliana Nelson, Strategic Initiatives Manager, at

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Paid Student Internships

The Chamber is proud to partner with Santa Barbara County Partners in Education on their Paid Student Internship program, which gives local businesses the opportunity to provide job experience to junior and senior high school students who have gone through a job readiness training program.

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Leadership Santa Maria Valley

Leadership Santa Maria Valley is an 11 month program designed to foster and create future community leaders. The program allows participants to increase their understanding of local issues, challenges and solutions while expanding their personal and professional networks and refining their leadership skills. Each Class gives back to the community with their own unique Legacy Project.

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Teacher Tours Santa Maria Valley

Teacher Tours

The Chamber has partnered with the Santa Barbara County Career Technical Education (CTE) Programs to connect teachers to local industry through Teacher Tours. These tours provide teachers and opportunity to tour local businesses and speak with industry leaders about local workforce challenges and needs, so they can bring this information back to the classroom and implement it into their curriculum.

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