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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of long-time Executive Director of the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) and tireless champion of the Registered Apprenticeship system, Stephen Mandes.  Stephen’s dedication to the manufacturing industry and its workers and his strong belief in the use the Registered Apprenticeship model to produce the best trained, highly skilled manufacturing workforce in the world goes unrivaled.  For as long as many of us can recall, Stephen Mandes represented all that is right in the efforts to train US workers and advancing the public-private partnership between NIMS and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship.  We will miss Steve’s leadership, his integrity, his energy.  But most importantly, we will miss friendship and ability to make all those around him feel welcomed and involved.  As news of his passing has circulated throughout the Registered Apprenticeship Community, his colleagues and friends have summed up his impact on all of us so well that we are sharing some of them here. 


Steve was an incredible man. His commitment to the work was done with such incredible kindness and grace.” – Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship (ACA)


I was very saddened to hear the news about Steve Mandes.  I had the opportunity and pleasure to work with Steve on my first tour with the ACA from 2002—06.  Steve also presented at several National Association of State and Territory Apprenticeship Directors (NASTAD) conferences.  He was a gentleman and was passionate about apprenticeship.   His presence and the knowledge that he brought to the table will be sorely missed.” -  Mark Maki, ACA Member and President of NASTAD


What a sad day for all members. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and I will think of him in our future meetings. What a great friend.” – Stephen Brown, member of the ACA and Director of the Construction Training Department for the International Union of Operating Engineers.


I am very saddened to learn of Steve’s passing. As a newcomer to the ACA, I really appreciated his leadership and willingness to share ideas and resources. Whether we agreed or disagreed on the many issues addressed by the committee, Steve was always straightforward and honest in his contributions. Steve was a great supporter of registered apprenticeship, an accomplished businessman and an exceptional human being and LIUNA collectively mourns his loss.”  - Bernadette Oliveira-Rivera, ACA member and Fund Administrator for the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)

I will certainly miss Steve as will all who knew him.  His professional contributions to the U.S. manufacturing industry and registered apprenticeship were many. But, in addition, I will always remember Steve as a consummate gentleman and friend.” – Bob Baird, ACA member and Vice President of Training and Development for the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC)


Steve was always open and willing to share the history and background related to the issues we work on.  I personally was grateful for his thoughtful insight and will miss his humorous disposition. We have lost one of the good guys, it's a sad day.” – Daniel Villao, ACA member and State Director for the California Construction Academy, UCLA Downtown Labor Center


Hi, everyone. I'm cross-posting a message from our administrator, John Ladd, announcing the release of an important ETA TEN. Click this link to read and download the TEN.

ETA has issued the attached Training and Employment Notice (TEN), Encouraging Enhanced Partnerships and Collaboration between the Workforce Investment System and Registered Apprenticeship Programs.  The purpose of this TEN is to encourage workforce investment system leaders to develop and enhance partnerships and resource-leveraging efforts with Registered Apprenticeship programs in order to increase job seekers’ access to career pathways utilizing Registered Apprenticeship.  Although state and local workforce system budgets continue to be constrained and high growth employment opportunities are very scarce in this economy, partnering with Registered Apprenticeship is a proven way to improve placements for job seekers looking for a sustainable career, as well as to engage with employers in communities seeking to improve the skills of their workforce.  The TEN will also be on the Registered Apprenticeship Community of Practice.

The Office of Apprenticeship will do a series of webinars on various aspects of the TEN starting this summer and continuing throughout the fall to provide technical assistance to the system.

Please share this widely with WIBs, One-Stops and the state workforce system in your state, as well as staff and Registered Apprenticeship sponsors.   

Thank you,

John V. Ladd
Office of Apprenticeship