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As the president of CAEL, Earl Buford oversees the national nonprofit organization's work to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth for adult learners in collaboration with workforce and economic developers, post-secondary educators, employers, industry groups, foundations, and other mission-aligned groups. Before CAEL, Buford was the Chief Executive Officer of Partner4Work, the leader of the public workforce system for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, as well as Employ Milwaukee, where he was nationally recognized for implementing and integrating a sector-based approach to workforce development. Buford was also the leader of one of the first intermediaries in the country, WRTP/BIG-STEP.
Buford is an active board member with several organizations, including the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, Apprenticeships for America, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Catalyst Connection (a manufacturing extension partnership), Bridgeway Capital, Cleveland Federal Reserve (Pittsburgh Chapter), and Strada Education Network's National Strategic Advisory Group focused on identifying opportunities to improve the benefits of education and training after high school. He is a former member of Vice President Joe Biden’s Task Force on Effective Workforce Strategies, the National Network of Sector Partners, the Wisconsin Governor’s Task Force on Minority Unemployment, and the National Skills Coalition Advisory Board, among many others. Buford graduated from the University of Wisconsin, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in History.