Joel Simon, joined the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) as a Senior Consultant in 2006, assuming the role of Associate Vice President in 2009, Vice President in 2012 and Executive Vice President in 2017. Mr. Simon brings more than 20 years of experience working at the local, regional and state level to link community and economic development with community residents through skills development, collaboration and capacity building. He has provided consulting to multi-stakeholder workforce initiatives in 33 states, and has worked with public and private partnerships to understand and address skills needs in a variety of existing and emerging sectors including aerospace, aviation, energy, life sciences, transportation, manufacturing, information technology, retail, hospitality and healthcare, as well as foundational skill efforts, regional collaboration initiatives that cut across sectors, and workforce readiness and access for target populations.
He has served as faculty for the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the International Economic Development Corporation, the Mid America Economic Development Council, the Institute for Sustainable Communities and the Accreditation Council of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. He has been featured as a keynote speaker, panelist and presenter at economic development, workforce development, and education conferences across the US.
Prior to joining CAEL, he developed 21st Century Apprenticeship models for the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and worked with CompTIA’s corporate and education members to engage with local communities and the public workforce system. From 1999 – 2004 he served as the Assistant Director of Workforce Solutions – the business services arm of Chicago’s Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (MOWD). While at MOWD he worked in partnership with Chicago community organizations, training providers, economic developers, local leaders and employers to create customized training programs that link community residents with job opportunities in their respective neighborhoods. From 1996 – 1999 he worked as a community organizer for the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs where he focused on supporting leaders in Chicago’s public housing communities.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts from the University of Chicago.