• Chamber Programs

  • Computer Connections

    The Chamber, through its affiliated Santa Maria Valley Community Foundation, partners with the Santa Barbara County Education Office, local businesses and organizations to provide computer packages to needy children/families enrolled in our local schools. Local schools identify students who do not have access to computers within their homes and who cannot afford to purchase equipment on their own. The program addresses the “digital divide” that can separate students who do not have technology in their home from those who can do their studies at home with their own computer.

    Students, identified by their school district, are provided a laptop, software, and printer. The recipients often have siblings in the home who will also use the computer and students often teach their parents to do word processing and how to email, which in some cases may be important steps in helping them find new or better employment.

    To date, more than 200 computers have been distributed since the program was launched in 2002. Computers are distributed to students identified by the Santa Maria Union High School District, Santa Maria Bonita Elementary District, Guadalupe School District, and the Orcutt Unified School District. Typically eight (8) students are selected (2 per district) in the fall of each school year, with an additional student from each district selected in the spring.

  • Youth of the Month

    The Chamber recognizes the importance of recognizing young people who are going above and beyond in terms of preparing for their future. We also want to encourage youth in our community to get involved now in places and ways they can make a difference. Partnering with our local schools and the Santa Barbara County Education Office, the Chamber recognizes one high school student each month at one of our membership events.

  • Military Affairs

    Santa Maria is proud of our relationship both with Vandenberg Air Force Base and with the large population of veterans who live and work in our community. We recognize the significant economic impact that they bring to our community, along with the value they provide as neighbors, friends, and colleagues.

    The Chamber, through its Military Affairs Committee, maintains an active relationship with the command structure at Vandenberg, providing sponsorship for airmen and employee recognition programs, facilitating interaction with local community and base leadership, and in general acting as a connector between the base and town. Additionally, the Chamber supports many veterans-related programs and organizations and annually hosts a program at the local Freedom Monument (originally built by the Chamber) to honor those with connections to the community who gave all in our defense.