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Santa Maria Valley Chamber Receives Regional Recognition for Teacher Tours Program

Santa Maria Valley Chamber Receives Regional Recognition for Teacher Tours Program

Teacher Tours Program awarded “Outstanding Chamber Program” Recognition at Western Association of Chamber Executives’ (W.A.C.E) 2024 Annual Conference


The Santa Maria Valley Chamber’s Teacher Tours Program has been recognized as an “Outstanding Chamber Program” by the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.) at their Annual Conference earlier this month. The program was selected through an application process and the Chamber was recognized as part of W.A.C.E’s awards program at their annual conference held in Garden Grove, California.


The Santa Maria Valley Chamber’s Teacher Tours program is done in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Education’s Office Career Technical Education (CTE) program. Teacher Tours is a monthly program that provides CTE teachers an opportunity to connect with local businesses in their respected career pathway. 


Each month, teachers from a specific CTE pathway spend the day visiting local businesses in their pathway and have the opportunity to tour the business, connect with business leaders, learn about skills and training needed by employees, and understand what local jobs are available in the industries they teach in. Teachers then take this information back to their classrooms and make sure students are aware of local jobs and equipped with the skills to be successful in today’s workplace.


“The Teacher Tours program is a great example of some of the work the Chamber is doing in workforce development and assuring we are building a strong talent pipeline for our businesses,” said Molly Schiff, Director of Advocacy & Initiatives for the Santa Maria Valley Chamber. “It also exemplifies the impactful work we’re able to do when we have strong community partnerships like the one we have with the County Education Office.”


The Western Association of Chamber Executives is the premier organization for education and professional development for chamber executives and staff. Their mission is to enhance and promote the professional growth and competence of Chamber of Commerce Executives. W.A.C.E.represents over 800 chamber professionals in 21 Western states and Canada.


“We appreciate W.A.C.E for recognizing the Santa Maria Valley Teacher Tours program, and the important work Chambers throughout the region are doing around workforce development,” Schiff said. “We know the work we do through this program and others directly attributes to the vitality of our community, and keeping the Santa Maria Valley a great place to live, work, and do business.”


Additional information on the Teacher Tours program and the Chamber’s other workforce development programs can be found at


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