ACE Program & Advanced Institute for Economic Development

Accredited California Economic Developer (ACE) Program

New Training/Certification Program for California Economic Developers

The Accredited California Economic Developer (ACE) program is a new certification program offered through a partnership between CALED; the California Academy for Economic Development; the California State University, Fresno; and the University Business Center.

The ACE program addresses the unique challenges of economic development practitioners in California. At the end of successful completion of all program requirements, the participant will earn ACE certification which can help set them apart in their field.

Requirements for ACE Certification:

  • Completion of Introduction to Economic Development Certificate Program (“Keys Course”)
  • Completion of 5 Advanced Institute for Economic Development (Advanced Institute) courses (see below)
  • Score of 80% or higher on a comprehensive final exam
  • Completion of at least two years of paid professional experience (public and/or private sector) in the field of economic development
  • Payment of certification fee

Credit for other coursework may be applied toward the certification and there are limited-time opportunities for CEcD-certified individuals to be California-certified without completing all coursework.


The first 5-day Advanced Institute will be held at Fresno State University from August 19-23, 2019

The ACE program’s Advanced Institute offers California-specific course curriculum which can be completed in 5 days. The Advanced Institute builds on the “Introduction to Economic Development Certificate Program” (also known as “Keys to Successful Economic Development”) which has been offered by CALED and its partners for almost 10 years. The week-long “Keys Course” is a prerequisite to the Advanced Institute and is required for full ACE certification, although a waiver of the Keys Course requirement may be considered for individuals with 6+ years of professional experience and/or individuals who have completed a comparable Keys Course in neighboring states.

The five one-day courses offered in this launch are:

  • Economic Development Strategic Planning
  • Business Retention and Expansion
  • Real Estate Development and Reuse
  • Economic Development Finance
  • Navigating the Regulatory Environment and Entitlement Process in California

Who Should Attend:

  • Economic development professionals currently employed (or seeking employment) in California
  • Professionals in related fields whose job responsibilities include economic development functions
  • Those who have already attended the Keys Course and want to take the next step towards ACE certification

Early Registration Fee for Advanced Institute (Keys Course is a separate fee):

  • CALED Member = $1,300
  • CALED Non-member = $1,500

Registration is now open!  

Click here to register for the Advanced Institute.


There will be limited-space availability so register early!

Click here to get your name on our contact list.

Contact Helen Schaubmayer at for questions.


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