Ray Bramucci, an Unwavering Champion of Labor Dies at 80

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of longtime labor champion Ray Bramucci, who served as the former New Jersey Commissioner of Labor as well as a union organizer for the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU), chief-of-staff to U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley, and an assistant federal labor secretary. Bramucci lived a life committed to uplifting working families and strengthening unions, and he will be greatly missed.

Bramucci was the son of an Italian butcher and worked a variety of factory jobs as a boy, learning early on the value of hard work. Throughout his career, Bramucci never forgot where he came from. This proved to be a conviction that defined his successful and selfless leadership.

Bramucci served four years in the U.S. Air Force. Afterwards, he joined the ILGWU, where he rose to become a senior director.

As the commissioner of the state Department of Labor, Bramucci successfully lobbied for passage of the Workforce Development Partnership Act, which trained unemployed workers in high-tech, emerging trades. He went on to become the assistant secretary of labor at the U.S. Department of Labor, overseeing the administration of national Youth Opportunity grants and supervised job training across the country, including more than 100 Job Corps Centers.

Bramucci’s legacy in support of our nation and New Jersey’s working families will continue to benefit our communities. Through his lifelong efforts, he has helped to leave our society stronger than the way he found it.

Bramucci is survived by his wife, Sue, and two sons, Michael and Dante. A daughter, Lisa, died in 2006.

A memorial Mass and reception are scheduled at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 12, 2015, at Immaculate Conception Chapel on the Lodi campus at Felician College, 262 S. Main Street. His family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the college’s Lisa Bramucci Scholarship Fund, 260 Main Street Lodi, NJ 07644.

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