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.

Standard 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)
  • Completion of at least two years of paid professional experience (public and/or private sector) in the field of economic development
  • Payment of certification test and registration fees

Please view the Pathways to ACE Certification to see how one can become accredited via the Standard Pathway (Keys Course and the Advanced Institute) or through special circumstances which include a Keys Course Waiver, waiver of certain Advanced Institute courses, or for those with CEcD accreditation.  

Click here to view the various Pathways to ACE Certification

Waiver requests must be submitted to Helen Schaubmayer by 5pm on June 21, 2020.

Keys Course Waiver Form

Advanced Institute Course Waiver Form

Contact Helen Schaubmayer at if you have any questions about requesting a waiver.


The Advanced Institute will be held August 3-7, 2020 Live in a Virtual Classroom hosted by Fresno State University 

Registration for the 2020 Advanced Institute is Now Closed

The 2020 ACE program’s Advanced Institute offers California-specific course curriculum that will be completed in a 5-day live virtual format. There will be opportunity for class engagement via breakouts and discussion. The Advanced Institute builds on the “Introduction to Economic Development Certificate Program” (also known as “Keys to Successful Economic Development” or “Keys Course”) 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 are (click on the course name to view its syllabus and instructor information):

–Each course will be held from 9am to 4:30pm–

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

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

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

(Payment must be received 2 weeks prior to the start of the Advanced Institute to attend.)

Registration for the 2020 Advanced Institute is Now Closed

There will be limited-space availability so register early! Registration closes July 17, 2020.

Click here to get your name on our contact list.

Contact Helen Schaubmayer at for questions.


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