The Cypress Mandela Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program was created in 1993 in response to the damage and subsequent rebuilding resulting from the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Its original mission was to provide local residents with training and employment in repairing damaged freeways. In 1998 the Cypress Mandela Training Program merged with the Women in Skilled Trades Program, which originated at Laney Community College. This combined pre-apprentice training program functioned under the auspices of the Oakland Private Industry Council. In 2004 the Cypress Mandela Training Center, Inc. was formed as an independent non-profit corporation.