Earl Buford has been appointed president and chief executive officer of the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, succeeding Donald Sykes, who has served in that capacity since 2006.
Buford’s appointment was made effective at the start of the month.
“I’m pleased Earl will be the new president and CEO of MAWIB,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who announced Buford’s appointment in June. “He takes over MAWIB at a time when quality workforce development has become increasingly important to the region. It’s my expectation Earl will continue to lead the organization in the positive direction that Don has initiated. Don took us through a very important transition and has created a solid foundation. He has done an incredible job building partnerships and identifying funding opportunities. We are most grateful for his service and wish him the best in his retirement.”
Buford was at the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership (WRTP/BIG STEP) for 15 years and most recently served as president. Under Buford’s leadership, WRTP/BIG STEP was honored with many recent accolades, including praise from the White House.
Sykes oversaw the transition from the Private Industry Council to MAWIB in 2006, revamping the strategic vision of the organization.
“I am honored to be taking over for Don Sykes,” Buford said. “He is an icon in the community. I look forward to working collaboratively with the business community and economic and community development stakeholders.”
MAWIB is the largest of 11 workforce boards in Wisconsin. Workforce Investment Boards were created through federal legislation and are appointed bodies, certified by law, and given the ability to set policy, guide implementation and provide oversight to the local workforce development system.