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Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc.

About the Foundation

The Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc. was organized and incorporated in 2014. The Foundation is a non-profit corporation organized to manage and distribute funds and resources to further the development of the community through activities that are exclusively charitable, scientific or educational. The Foundation is responsible for the creation and support of the Harry Schickling Scholarship; the Annual Job Fair; is a collaborative partner in the Career Internship Program; and a partner in the newly formed Summer Career Camps.

Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation Mission

To develop, promote, and manage economic development, workforce development, and educational opportunities and initiatives throughout Bedford County and the Town of Bedford, Virginia with the ultimate objective of enhancing the business climate and workforce throughout the region. In an effort to promote school/business partnerships and educate our business members and the public about the role education plays in improving the business climate and quality of life in our region, the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce participates in a number of collaborative initiatives with Bedford County Public Schools.

Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce - Education & Workforce Development

The Career Internship Program allows students to participate in area internships in an effort to grow a healthy workforce. The Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to support the Internship program by assisting with recruiting businesses in our area to host student interns and through grant opportunities to assist with funding students’ transportation needs and program materials. The Chamber places a great deal of its efforts on the development of a strong workforce and educating our students on the opportunities that are available to them.

21st Century Career Camps allow high school students the opportunity to explore different career areas with a hands-on experience in areas such as manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, culinary arts, STEM and more. This program helps to promote job creation, economic development, and growth among youth while strengthening relationships between our business and educational communities. The Bedford Area Chamber creates opportunities for business members to actively participate in this program through activities and presentations that will assist students in developing skills, confidence and experience needed to be actively employed.

The Annual Job Fair provides area businesses with the opportunity to promote their job openings and career opportunities to the community. Attracting more than 300 job seekers each year, this program assists businesses with the need to attract a trained and skilled workforce. Future programs include the development of a new Youth Leadership Program and the redesign of our once popular, Career Exploration Day. The Youth Leadership Program is designed to develop the academic, social and life skills of area youth beginning in their sophomore year of high school. Students will have the opportunity for interaction with their peers, community based organizations, institutions of higher education, and professionals from local business and industry.

Career Exploration Day is designed to expose middle school students to careers through onsite orientations and hands-on experiences at area places of business. It provides them the opportunity to explore career options that they might not otherwise be exposed to. The goal is to enhance workforce development by exposing students to opportunities at an early age; giving them a head start in their plans for completing their education.

3 Ways to get involved!

  • VOLUNTEER or participate in an education or workforce development program or the Workforce Development Committee.
  • ADVOCATE for our initiatives at your workplace and in the community.
  • INVEST an individual gift or sponsorship donation from your business.