New York Urban League Honors Verizon With 'Champions of Diversity' Award

NEW YORK - The New York Urban League (NYUL) today honored Verizon with a Champions of Diversity Award for the company's outstanding recruitment and promotion, supplier diversity and philanthropic practices.

The NYUL, a civil rights and social service organization, established the awards this year to recognize companies with world-class diversity initiatives. Honorees also include Entergy, Essence Communications Partners, Estée Lauder, IBM and Turner Construction. The awards were presented at a breakfast in Manhattan.

"Champions of Diversity like Verizon and our other honorees stand out because they are industry leaders who, in their day-to-day business activities, demonstrate that diversity is a priority and essential to their success," said Darwin M. Davis, New York Urban League president and CEO.

Diversity is an integral part of Verizon's business and influences everything from work force development and supplier relationships to economic development and philanthropy. The company measures diversity progress like any other business objective, holding executives accountable through incentives linked to short-term compensation.

Minority employees represent nearly 30 percent of Verizon's work force and hold almost 18 percent of top management positions. Verizon actively recruits diverse employees, forming strategic partnerships with colleges and universities, and professional and community-based organizations. The company prepares its multicultural work force for career advancement through mentoring and leadership development programs like the Verizon Development and Leadership Initiative, which helps participants identify professional goals and network with Verizon executives.

Verizon annually spends more than $1 billion with diverse suppliers. The company forms strategic alliances with advocacy groups and chambers of commerce to support small businesses, and encourages primary suppliers to increase use of diverse businesses as subcontractors. Additionally, through the Verizon Diversity Managers program, 20 minority-owned investment firms manage $1 billion in committed Verizon pension assets.

Verizon Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm, supports organizations that serve multicultural communities. In 2003 the Foundation provided $34 million, 45 percent of its total budget, to nonprofit organizations serving diverse communities.

The NYUL is an affiliate of the National Urban League, the nation's oldest civil rights, social and community service organization.

Verizon Communications

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.