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CAEL Newsroom

Workforce Development Veteran Earl Buford Named CAEL President

CAEL contact: Carlo Bertolini
312-499-2338 | cbertolini@cael.org

INDIANAPOLIS – The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) is pleased to announce the appointment of Earl Buford as its new president. Buford brings a wealth of experience leading diverse partnerships in support of inclusive economic growth through workforce development strategies and coordinated education and training programs. His work spans multiple regions and industries. 

“Equitable economic prosperity depends on educators empowering learners with the skills that growth industries are looking for,” said Thomas Dawson, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Strada Education Network. “Earl’s leadership, talent for coalition building, and experience spanning the education and workforce ecosystems are a natural fit with CAEL’s mission to support lifelong learning and success in the future of work.”

“Amid the economic disparity our nation faces today, there is great opportunity for collaboration among industries, educators, workforce developers, and community organizations,” said Buford. “CAEL is built on engaging these critical stakeholders to champion adult learners. I look forward to advancing CAEL’s mission to help people find the right path forward as they seek the lifelong learning opportunities that drive career advancement, social mobility, and community prosperity.”

Buford’s career in aligning workforce development and postsecondary strategies includes his 2014 appointment to serve on then-Vice President Joe Biden’s Advisory Taskforce on Workforce Development. Most recently, Buford was CEO of Partner4Work, the leader of the public workforce system for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

Prior to that, he served as president and CEO of Employ Milwaukee, where he was nationally recognized for the implementation and integration of a sector-based approach to workforce development. He also served as the longtime leader of Milwaukee-based WRTP/Big-Step, one of the first intermediaries in the country, which focused on building diverse workforces in manufacturing, construction, and emerging sectors. 

Buford, who will assume the role effective April 12, 2021, succeeds Alex Morrison, senior vice president of strategic partnerships at Strada Education Network, who has been serving as interim president of CAEL.

About CAEL
Recognizing that adult learners are the backbone of the U.S. economy, CAEL helps forge a clear, viable connection between education and career success, providing solutions that promote sustainable and equitable economic growth. CAEL opens doors to opportunity in collaboration with workforce and economic developers; postsecondary educators; employers and industry groups; and foundations and other mission-aligned organizations. By engaging with these stakeholders, we foster a culture of innovative, lifelong learning that helps individuals and their communities thrive. Established in 1974, CAEL, a Strada Education Network affiliate, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization. Visit cael.org to learn more.


About Strada Education Network
Strada Education Network is a new kind of social impact organization dedicated to improving lives by forging clearer and more purposeful pathways between education and employment. Our approach combines innovative research, thought leadership, strategic philanthropy, mission-aligned investments, and a network of affiliate organizations. Together, we work to better serve millions of individuals in the United States seeking to complete postsecondary education and training, gain clear value from those experiences, and build meaningful careers. Learn more at stradaeducation.org.