Portland-Area (Ore.) Nonprofits Receive $136,900 In Grants from Verizon

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Northwest Oregon residents will benefit from $136,900 in grants made by Verizon Foundation to 13 nonprofit organizations in the Portland metropolitan area. The foundation is the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications.

The one-year grants to local educational institutions and community-based nonprofit groups range from $5,000 to $25,000.

The foundation's support will fund work-force development programs that promote economic growth and jobs and serve low-income, minority and disadvantaged Oregonians. The grants also will provide technology training for youth and adults and increase the technical capabilities of charitable agencies. A list of grant recipients appears at the end of the news release.

The grants were announced today during a Westside Economic Alliance breakfast forum in Tigard. John Gustafson, director of external affairs for Verizon Northwest, presented the awards.

"Oregon faces challenging economic issues, and Verizon can play a critical role in helping this region prosper by supporting programs that improve the skills of the local workforce," Gustafson said. "Verizon is committed to helping the communities we serve become better educated and technologically fluent. Our goal is to reduce unemployment and increase the use of technology."

Verizon awarded major grants to:

  • Forest Grove School District, Forest Grove -- $25,000 for new computers and other technology to enable students throughout the district to pursue advanced learning opportunities.

  • United Way of the Columbia -Willamette, Portland -- $20,000 to support the Helping Hands Partnership, a collaborative effort encouraging volunteerism in the Portland area.

  • Concordia University, Portland -- $10,000 to help establish a "Smart Lab" with advanced communications capabilities for the university's biology students.

  • Business Education Compact, Beaverton -- $10,000 for a program providing mentors to inspire Native American youth to complete high school and pursue careers.

  • Housing Development Corp. of Washington County, Hillsboro -- $10,000 for a training program to help farm workers and low-income Latinos overcome barriers and improve their job opportunities.

  • East County One Stop, Gresham -- $10,000 for the agency's Bi-Lingual Job Coach Institute, which helps job applicants who speak English as a second language find jobs with employers who need their skills.

In addition to the grants announced today, Verizon has given more than $120,000 to nonprofit organizations this year for literacy programs in Oregon.

Overall this year in the Pacific Northwest, Verizon will provide more than $1 million in grants, contributions and sponsorships for literacy, technology, economic development and work-force development programs.

Verizon Foundation is committed to helping people and communities make progress every day. The foundation supports a variety of programs that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, bridging the digital divide, enriching communities through technology and creating a skilled work force. The foundation promotes partnerships in technology with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

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 135.0 million access line equivalents and 31.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and more than 236,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 35 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.


Verizon Foundation 2002 Technology Development Grant Recipients - Portland Metro

$7,500 -- Community Action Organization of Washington County, Hillsboro

Supports CAO's initiative to significantly upgrade technology for its staff. Modern computer equipment will improve organizational efficiency and enable CAO to shift limited resource dollars from troubleshooting to training.

$10,000 -- Concordia University, Portland

Helps outfit the university's new biology lab as a "Smart Lab." From each lab workstation, students will have access to the campus network and online library resources as well as worldwide information through the Internet.

$25,000 -- Forest Grove School District, Forest Grove

Will underwrite the purchase of computers, multimedia projectors and other technology for the "Creating 21st Century Learners" project. Teachers and students will be able to do advanced courses using Internet research, media products, and interactive tools. The new equipment will also (missing a thought here) the local community through two-hour computer workshops.

$20,000 -- United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, Portland

Supports the Helping Hands partnership of several volunteer agencies in the Portland area. The agencies will work together to develop a common vision, do more effective research and training, and increase efficiency through a shared database and Web site portal.

$5,300 -- United Way of Yamhill County, McMinnville

Funds the design and maintenance of a Web site for the human service organization. The project, which also includes purchase of a digital camera, will streamline administration, increase public awareness of United Way and its member agencies, and mobilize volunteers more effectively.

$9,000 -- Wilsonville Public Library, Wilsonville

Underwrites the purchase of computers to relieve overcrowded work stations and increase the library's public offerings. Equipment will be utilized in the children's library, Heritage Center, business center and the reference department.

Verizon Foundation 2002 Work Force Development Grant Recipients - Portland Metro

$10,000 -- Business Education Compact, Beaverton

Supports "Career Mentoring For Native American Youth," a collaborative program with Native American organizations in the Portland area to provide pre-employment training and career mentoring to Native American youth. Students will also participate in a paid internship that aligns with their interests and career goals.

$10,000 -- East County One Stop, Gresham

Funds will assist the agency's Bi-Lingual Job Coach Institute, which addresses the problem of skilled workers who miss job bids because of their inability to speak adequate English. Graduates of the institute go to local businesses and do job orientation in the workers' native languages, increasing productivity for both employees and employers.

$10,000 -- Housing Development Corp. of Washington County, Hillsboro

Helps underwrite the "Farm Worker Skills & Lifelong Learning Project," one of only two like it in Oregon. Focused on farm workers and low-income Latinos in western Washington County, this project will provide courses in literacy, computers and basic skills as well as job readiness training.

$7,500 -- Mt. Hood Community College, Gresham

Helps fund "Project WIN" (Women in Non-traditional Careers). The program helps low-income women prepare for careers with good living wages, especially those that require significant math and science course work, such as nursing.

$10,000 -- Oregon Independent College Foundation, Portland

Provides money for scholarships to OICF's 10 member schools, three of which (Pacific University, George Fox University and Linfield College) are in Verizon telephone service territory. This grant focuses primarily on qualifying minority students.

$6,500 -- Portland State University Foundation, Portland

Supports the "Si Se Puede" Leadership Project, a nine-month program for Chicano/Latino middle school and high school students. The project focuses on preventing school dropouts and encouraging the students to explore college and career options.

$5,000 -- Portland YouthBuild, Portland

Funds the operation of a computer/Internet help desk. Students staff the help desk and provide technical support for hundreds of low-income families in Washington County, Gresham and southeast Portland. Their experiences will help prepare them for college and/or technology careers.

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