CEcD… What Does it Mean?

Recently I was awarded the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Hooray! Good for me, right? Good for anyone else? Let’s see what this means for everyone.Marty Vanags

Let me start by saying the CEcD designation is not easy to attain. It takes some work. Candidates for the CEcD must have at least four years of experience in the profession, they must take four required baseline courses and two electives, and then they must sit for a test that takes approximately 5 hours to complete, not counting the grilling one receives as part of the oral examination. The oral exam occurs only if one passes the five-hour essay and multiple choice portion. The pass rate is about 30% and there are only about 1,100 individuals with the designation throughout the world.

It is not a “cake walk” as they say.

For the communities they serve, CEcDs can be counted on as having a wide body of knowledge and expertise in the field of economic development. Some CEcDs have years of experience and some are new to the field. Because the designation has a recertification requirement every three years you can count on designees to continue to seek out the best practices and develop new skills to enhance their communities. CEcDs take their work seriously and want to do well. The process of attaining this designation takes effort, so you know when someone has it, they really care about doing their job at the highest degree of professionalism and ethical standards.

Personally, I am honored to have the designation. I started the process early in my career and then was sidetracked and distracted by all the other things that are essential to work and life. But after studying over the past several months, I am proud of the designation.

Barry Matherly, CEO of the the Greater Richmond Partnership and current Chair of the board of the IEDC said it best, “Economic development is a noble profession.” Indeed, we get to wake up every morning and have an enormous impact on the lives of people through our work and effort. The CEcD designation means that I am serious and committed to the work that must be done and the Saratoga County community to which I serve.