Bell Atlantic - New Jersey CEO William M. Freeman Honored for Company's TEC 2000 School-to-Work Program

Bell Atlantic - New Jersey CEO William M. Freeman
Honored for Company's TEC 2000 School-to-Work

May 28, 1998

Media contact:

Tim Ireland,

NEWARK, N.J. -- Bell Atlantic - New Jersey President and CEO William
M. Freeman
today accepted the New Jersey Department of Education's
John Heldrich Award for his company's efforts to prepare New Jersey
students for telecommunications careers.

State Education Commissioner Leo Klagholz cited TEC 2000, Bell
Atlantic's innovative vocational education program, as a model for school-
to-work programs across the state. Klagholz presented Freeman with the
award at the Department of Education's School-to-Career Conference in

In accepting the award, Freeman called upon other corporate leaders to
establish career training programs like TEC 2000 in their respective

"When corporations and schools collaborate for the benefit of students,
everyone wins," Freeman said. "Corporations get a pool of ready-to-work
applicants; students get the training they need to find work in careers they
choose, and educators get the satisfaction of seeing their efforts produce
tangible results. That, in a nutshell, is what TEC 2000 is all about."

TEC 2000 is an outgrowth of Project SMART, a nationally recognized
telecommunications apprentice partnership between Bell Atlantic, the
Ocean County Vocational Technical School and the Toms River School

High-school juniors and seniors who participated in Project SMART
studied telecommunications, apprenticed under seasoned
telecommunications workers and took advantage of work-based learning.

In May 1996, Bell Atlantic established telecommunications training sites at
vocational schools across the state with the cooperation of the N.J.
Department of Education, the N.J. Department of Labor and the
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. TEC 2000 - an
abbreviation for technology education centers - was born. Since then,
approximately 50 students have graduated from the program.

Ten TEC 2000 sites are located in the following New Jersey counties:
Cape May, Salem, Burlington, Mercer, Ocean, Morris, Somerset, Essex,
Hudson and Passaic. Two more sites are scheduled to open this year.

The Heldrich Award is named after a former Johnson & Johnson executive
who served as chairman of the State Employment and Training
Commission during the administrations of three New Jersey governors.

The Department of Education will present it annually to a corporation or
executive who has been instrumental in preparing New Jersey students for
entry into the workforce. Freeman is the award's first recipient.

Bell Atlantic -- formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX --
is at the forefront of the new communications, information and
entertainment industry. With more than 41 million telephone access lines
and 6.7 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are
premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest
investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations
and investments in 22 countries.