After 39 years and 4 months of exceptional service, James E. Andrews retired from his management position at the U. S. Department of Labor. Approximately 100 colleagues, friends and family members honored him at a luncheon that took place on May 30 at the Downtown Club in Philadelphia. James was revered not only as professional, but as an exceptional man.
James joins countless others in the retirement world, and says he plans to continue being active, adventurous and energetic. “As I say goodbye to Department of Labor, my first priority is getting into better shape and reducing stress,” he remarked. His wife of 17 years, Dolores Andrews, added, “Now he will also have more time to tackle projects around the house, play golf, cruise on his motorcycle and enjoy his passion for photography.” The retirement wishes of a man who made a career of looking out for federal workers’ compensation benefits are few and simple. Certainly he has a big list of “honey-dos” to catch up on, but if his track record of getting big things done is any indication, James should see that list dwindle quickly.
James officially began his federal career after graduating from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. During his summer vacation from college, he worked for Army Electronics Command, (Department of Defense) initially as a copy operator and then as a messenger. The Social Security Administration hired James as claims representative following his graduation from Cheyney. He interviewed applicants for retirement and disability benefits. Just 18 months later, James was selected as quality review specialist for the Social Security Administration Quality Review branch. As a quality review specialist he interviewed beneficiaries in their homes to determine if they were receiving the correct benefits. He performed these duties in Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey for three years before being selected as technical advisor for the Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs.
The focus of the technical advisor position was providing technical assistance to federal managers, union groups and congressional offices on the Federal Workers’ Compensation program. “He not only did a tremendous job at handling the seminars and workshops for the agency but also of understanding the value of public service and looking out for the interests of injured federal employees,” said William Staarma, a former district director for the U.S. Department of Labor. James was then promoted to the management staff where he assisted the office by supervising a claims unit for the remainder of his career with the U.S. Department of Labor.
Throughout James’ career he was involved with activities that enhanced his personal growth. He joined Toastmasters International to enhance his public speaking skills. In a few short years he was elected to district governor of the organization and was responsible for managing all of the clubs (approximately 95) in Eastern Pa., and southern N.J. During his career, he also served as polemarch (president) of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Philadelphia Alumni Chapter where he honed his leadership skills. James was an officer of Men of Baca, an affiliate of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
As if James hadn’t been busy enough, he even managed to find time to obtain his real estate license and sold houses for Century 21. He has been very dedicated to Cheyney University of Pennsylvania where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in English/Education. James also served as chairman of the Cheyney Foundation for six of the 10 years that he served as a member of the Cheyney Board of Directors.
James’ current and past activities are vast and include Shotokan karate, nonprofit management and tutoring for literacy groups. It is only a matter of time before this dedicated family man who, with his wife, Dolores, has raised three, fine young men, takes on another new challenge. Their sons are James Eliot Andrews, Julian C. Andrews and William Switzet.
Among those “Out & About” to celebrate and honor James during this major milestone were: Father Stephen D. Thorne, pastor, Saint Martin de Porres Catholic Church where James is an active member; friend and fellow fraternity member, former mayor of the City of Philadelphia, Rev. Dr. Wilson W. Goode; long-time friend and fellow member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Irving D. Bailey; cousins, Karen Nesbitt and Louise Atterbury; and other members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Walter Green, Irving Briddell, Weldon Bazemore, Jerry Martin and Vernon Trent.
One of the highlights of the afternoon was the rendition of two songs with lyrics composed especially for James by “The Voices of The Department of Labor.” Thanks to the retirement luncheon committee: chairperson, Alice Hannah, (cousin) Sharon Smith, Kim Dickerman, Sheila Dorsey and Rosemarie Devlin who did an outstanding job coordinating this event.
Congratulations to James E. Andrews and continued best wishes for a happy, healthy and productive life. I am sure that you will venture into even more activities to enrich your life and continue to make a meaningful contribution to the community. Also, on behalf of Dolores, I wish you the very best on your list of “honey-dos!”