CALED supports its members through information, technical assistance, training, education, and research. Begun in 1980, CALED has grown to over 800 members, representing cities, counties, state and federal agencies, economic development corporations, and the private sector. CALED, through its own programs and through its management of the California Academy for Economic Development, provides professional training to economic development professionals. Supportive research includes data development and analysis, modeling, and policy analysis. Specific projects focus on sustainable development, regional competition, financing, and technological support for economic development.
CALED also sponsored the creation of the California Enterprise Development Authority to provide low-cost financing alternatives to California nonprofits and manufacturers.