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Chamber Launches ''Santa Maria Next'' Program to Highlight Local Students Excelling in Career Pathways

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber has partnered with the Santa Barbara County Education Office on "Santa Maria Next", a program that highlights the career readiness training offered in high school career pathways and recognizes students who are excelling in these various pathways.

"As a champion for a strong local community, we know that local workforce development is a critical part of a vibrant community," explained Glenn Morris, President/CEO of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber. "Santa Maria Next gives us the opportunity to highlight the ways our local high schools are preparing kids for future careers, and also recognize students excelling in their fields of interest."

Teachers from local high school districts have the opportunity to nominate students in the career pathway being highlighted for that month. A group of students will be selected to be highlighted on Chamber social media/communications and by the local school districts.  Each quarter, the Chamber will also invite these students to attend a recognition event where they will have a chance to network with industry leaders in their career pathway of interest.

September 2021: Machining &  Manufacturing
Student of the Month: Jorge Salas, 11th Grade, Pioneer Valley High School

Jorge Salas, an 11th grader from Pioneer Valley High School, is our Santa Maria Valley Chamber CTE student of the Month in the Machining & Manufacturing pathway. He was nominated by his teacher, Dan Howard. Dan expressed that Jorge has a real interest and genuine talent for machining. In addition to that, Jorge has been helpful with classroom preparation and enjoys using his knowledge to assist his peers.  Congratulations to Jorge on his exceptional work! 

About the Machining & Manufacturing Career Pathway 
The Machining and Manufacturing Program provides local high school students three Allan Hancock College courses and starts them on their degree path. Students learn the basics of safety, measurement, and gain an understanding of blueprints and their creation.  They get the opportunity to operate state-of-the-art CNC Mills and Lathes as well as Manual Mills and Lathes. Students also learn and utilize MasterCam and SolidWorks design programs to create and manufacture their projects. This program will prepare students for an entry-level machine shop position.

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