Jersey City Students to Gain Job Skills at New Training Lab

Jersey City Students to Gain Job Skills at New
Training Lab

Bell Atlantic and Jersey City Schools Train Next Generation
of Telecommunications Technicians

May 4, 1999


Soraya Rodriguez ,

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Students in Jersey City will train to
become the next generation of telecommunications technicians at a new $1
million Network Training Facility Lab at Dickinson High School launched
by Bell Atlantic and the Jersey City Schools.

The state-of-the-art lab is designed to give students entry level skills for
careers in telecommunications technology. Each year, 25 students will
build a simulated central office network starting only with a plan and will
maintain the central office to Bell Atlantic standards. The program aims
to bridge the technology skill gap that seems to be widening, particularly
in the telecommunications industry. The growing demand for cell
phones, pagers, and faxes requires installing more transmission lines,
switches and equipment. By investing in the training of future
technicians, Bell Atlantic and vendors aim to meet the growing need for
qualified people. "We are proud to support innovative programs
that offer New Jersey's youth myriad choices for success in the
workplace," said William M. Freeman, president and CEO of Bell
Atlantic - New Jersey. "By providing students with hands-on
experience on network technology, we're empowering them and
addressing the growing need for highly skilled technicians in our
industry." Students who finish the program and pass a skills test will
be offered a job at Bell Atlantic or with one of the vendors.

The training facility was built over the last year by Bell Atlantic, and a
consortium of 19 telecommunications vendors including Fujitsu America
Inc., Lucent Technologies and Nortel. Together, they provided more than
$1 million in labor and state-of-the-art equipment.

Dickinson faculty have been trained by Bell Atlantic specialists in
program engineering. They will teach 11th and 12th grade students to
install and test high-speed telephone switches and systems that are the
backbone of a telecommunications network. Dickinson high school also
plans to open the lab to adults in the evenings for additional classes.

"We are proud to partner with Bell Atlantic in a long term
commitment that will enable students to develop into qualified
technicians, future industry leaders and positively influence the
community," said Dickinson High School Principal, Bob Donato.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With 43 million telephone access lines and nine
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 23 countries.