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  • Santa Maria Connect Provides Networking & Professional Development for Local Young Professionals

    A local program designed to engage young professionals is back for its second year. Santa Maria Connect, a program of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber, delivers networking and career development opportunities for professionals under 40. The program is focused on building business, community leaders and relationships through fun and professional events.

    Santa Maria Connect began a year ago after the Santa Maria Chamber saw a need for a program catered toward young professionals. 

    “As Santa Maria’s local economy is growing, it is attracting new professionals who are either returning to town or moving here to start their careers. As the future business owners and leaders of our community we need to give them a platform to build themselves up and gain real life knowledge for when they do start their business or take on a community leader position in our city,” explained Alex Managa, Events & Special Projects Manager for the Santa Maria Chamber. “Identifying emerging professionals and helping them to create strong networks and enhance their skills and experiences are important strategies in ensuring a long-term economic base for our community.”

    Santa Maria Connect had their first meeting of 2019 on February 28th at Far Western Tavern. The program meets every other month in the evenings, with programs typically including time for networking and a speaker. Their next event will be in April at Cottonwood Canyon Winery, and focus on how to create an effective presence on LinkedIn. A professional from LinkedIn will give a presentation about the platform, and a photographer will be on hand to take professional head shots for everyone.

    “Individuals participating in the Santa Maria Connect! events can expect to learn something they can use in their career, meet new people they can network and collaborate with, and connect to a broader community that can help them thrive!”, Magana explained. “With every event we aim to make them fun and interactive. Our events can include open discussions or a Q & A segment with experts from different industries to fun activities designed to get people talking and networking. The purpose of this program is not just to come together to socialize, but to foster connection and community growth.”

    Learn more about Santa Maria Connect Young Professionals, including upcoming event information, by following their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/santamariaconnect/. For questions about the program or get on the mailing list, contact Alex Magana at alex@santamaria.com. 

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