24 Verizon Employees Graduate from National Program For Telecommunications Education

NEW YORK - Graduation Day is right around the corner for 24 Verizon technicians who have completed their online studies as part of the nationwide NACTEL program. They will receive either associate's degrees or certificates in telecommunications or other emerging technologies.

Begun in 1997, NACTEL (National Coalition for Telecommunications Education and Learning) is a unique partnership of several major telecommunications companies and labor unions cooperating on an innovative online education program that promotes the development and advancement of the industry's workforce. Verizon, the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are members of NACTEL.

The program is offered by Pace University's School of Science and Information Systems in New York. Since studies are conducted online, the 24 Verizon employees graduating from the program were able to participate even though they work in 13 different states from coast to coast. Students in both the associate's degree and certificate programs take classes as their schedules permit. Graduation ceremonies take place at the Pace campus in White Plains, N.Y., on May 19.

"NACTEL has been a great addition to our valuable set of educational benefits for our employees," said James Keane, Verizon's director for workforce and leadership development. "The courses offered by the program enrich our employees' educational background and set the stage for career advancement."

Verizon's involvement in the program grew out of employees' desire for more job-related training and education. "Verizon partnered with the unions and other telecom companies and helped develop the curriculum that we have today," Keane said.

He said that teams at all the partner companies and unions regularly evaluate and update course material, as needed.

Verizon spends more than $42 million annually on training and education initiatives. In addition, the company spends some $103 million annually in prepaid tuition assistance, making it easier for employees to take part in additional career and education advancement opportunities.

Verizon Communications

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 136.6 million access line equivalents and 33.3 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third-largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 13.2 million long-distance lines, and the company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. With approximately $67 billion in annual revenues and 227,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.