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Earl Buford joined the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) as president in April 2021 and oversees the national nonprofit organization’s work to improve education-to-career pathways for adult learners. Buford most recently served as chief executive officer of Partner4Work, the leader of the public workforce system for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, where he managed public and private funds to deliver innovative solutions to ensure that current and future needs of businesses and job seekers are met.
Buford also served previously as chief executive officer of Employ Milwaukee, where he was nationally recognized for the implementation and integration of a sector-based approach to workforce development. Employ Milwaukee provided employer engagement through Industry Advisory Boards and created Midwest Urban Strategies, a national consortium of urban workforce boards that built an innovative supply-demand model to cultivate talent development and employer engagement in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Detroit, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and with the U.S. Department of Labor.
Buford also led Milwaukee-based WRTP/Big-Step, which aimed at recruiting and building a diverse workforce in construction, manufacturing, and emerging sectors. He has extensive experience in planning and executing workforce development programs aimed at youth.
Appointed in 2014 to serve on Vice President Joe Biden’s Advisory Taskforce on Workforce Development, Buford is active with several national organizations including the Board of Directors for the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and advisory boards of the Council of State Governments, National Network of Sector Partners, and National Skills Coalition. His published works include “Connecting People to Work: Workforce Intermediaries and Sector Strategies'' and “The Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership: The Evolution of an Intermediary, the Shifting Target of Twenty-First Century Manufacturing, and the Continuing Relevance of Unions in Labor Markets.”
Buford is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in History. He resides in Pittsburgh, PA.