Economic Development Profile
Santa Maria is located on the famed Highway 101 at the mid-point of California’s Central Coast and is the largest city in Santa Barbara County with a population of over 106,000. Santa Maria encompasses many industries, Industrial, commercial, agriculture and a retail hub for a region that includes approximately 153,000 residents located in Southern San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara County.
Known for our famous Santa Maria-style barbecue and our many rolling grapevine covered hills producing a fabulous wine industry, is becoming home to an increasing number of vineyards, wineries and wine makers! The Santa Maria Valley region produces strawberries, celery, lettuce, peas, squash, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli and beans. Learn more about our Tourism and Visitors Bureau
Santa Maria is also home to thriving industries including aerospace, communications, high-tech research and development, energy production, military operations, and manufacturing. 1902 marks the date that oil was discovered at the Orcutt Oil Field and has produced more than $640 million of oil over the years. Manufacturers in our area produce a wide array of products raging from medical testing supplies to aircraft interiors and baby care products to fire hoses.
The Santa Maria Public Airport is unique, with it being the longest runway (8000+feet) in the Central Coast. The Airport offers commercial passenger service to Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and has many development opportunities including ‘thru the fence’ operations.
The Santa Maria Valley Railroad has been in the region since 1911, is a short-line of 14 miles, privately owned offering freight service for customers, connecting with the Union Pacific system just west of Santa Maria for extended service.
Allan Hancock College is Santa Maria’s local Community College, founded and operated since 1920 serving all of North Santa Barbara County. They are one of largest employers in the region, staffing over 1,300 individuals. Serving 11,500 attending students, with 150 fields of study and having 12 Academic departments. Alan Hancock College exceeds an economic impact of $200 million annually to the overall viability of the area.
Marian Regional Medical Center (Dignity Health) An award-winning Hospital! Featuring 191- beds with new state-of-the-art technologically advanced care, offering a comprehensive perinatology/neonatology program on the Central Coast providing the most compassionate, quality care to the littlest of patients. Marian Regional Medical Center is an accredited teaching facility, operating a Family Care Residency Program, providing training to physicians in the entire spectrum of family medicine, from labor and delivery to geriatrics and every life stage in between.
Designated in 1998 as an All American City. Live, Work, Play! Santa Maria has something for everyone! Enjoy Santa Maria’s world-class wineries, vibrant cultural scene with world-class theatre anchored by the PCPA/Pacific Theatre Conservatory, world-class Rodeo, biking through idyllic rolling hills, 12 miles of the Pacific coastline, tallest beach dunes, smog free air and mild temperatures year-round. When you visit Santa Maria, you’ll want to stay and be a part of such a warm & welcoming city!
Agriculture is one of the major economic factors in the region offering many jobs and bringing some stability to the region. Grown crops coming from the Santa Maria region are Strawberries, Grapes, Broccoli, Head Lettuce, Avocados, Cauliflower, Celery, leaf lettuce and flowers. The overall value of these crops produce over 1.4 billion annually and continues to climb each year. Review report of Economic Contributions of Agriculture and a report on Agricultural Production
Economic Development Commission
The Economic Development Commission is compiled of stakeholders within the community facing issues and challenges together for the betterment of the Economic long term viability of the region.
Tours & Forums
The Economic Development Commission organizes and hosts industry tours and other forums that raise awareness of industry in Santa Maria. Our tours have included many of Santa Maria’s top employers. They are very popular and fill up quickly.
There is no cost for the industry tours, however you must RSVP at email@example.com or call (805) 925-2403 x 812.
Learn more about industry tours
The Santa Maria region is flourishing in educational resources! Having many preschools, 3 unified school districts, with many elementary schools, junior high and high schools along with charter schools and private schools to choose from. We are home to Business Colleges, and Alan Hancock Community College Campus in town.
Elementary – High School
Santa Maria Valley is home to Marian Regional Medical Center along with 3 urgent care centers and several convalescent hospitals, while being surrounded within an hour of 3 other Regional Hospitals.
Marian Regional Medical Center
1400 E Church Street Santa Maria CA 93455 (805) 739-3000
Central Coast Urgent Care
340 E. Betteravia Road Santa Maria, CA 93454 (805) 922-0561
Industrial Medical Group
3070 Skyway Drive #106 Santa Maria, CA 93455 (805) 922-8282
Marian Urgent Care Center
505 Plaza Drive Santa Maria, CA 93454 (805) 739-3211
Labor / Workforce / Employers
The Santa Maria Valley is diverse in the many different companies while continuing to maintain our primary industry of a manufacturing base with a significant amount of agriculture. With Vandenberg Air Force base being one of the largest employers in the region, they play a significant role in the region’s economy employing over 6,000 individuals. Other larger employers range from Healthcare, Education, and Retail. Santa Maria is a resource full of well-trained, skilled and capable workforce.