Verizon Foundation Awards Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts $25,000 to Help Mature Workers Prepare for Employment

The Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts (ULEM) and the Verizon Foundation are partnering to help people over the age of 55 gain the skills needed to prepare for better jobs in a fast-changing job market.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, has awarded $25,000 to support ULEM's Mature Worker Program (MWP), which provides technology and career skills training to unemployed and under-employed low-income residents over the age of 55.  The program's participants receive a variety of training including: basic Internet usage, Microsoft Word and Outlook, life skills, conflict resolution, time management, stress management, and balancing work and family life. 

Created in 2006 in conjunction with ULEM and the National Urban League in New York, and funded by the Department of Labor, the MWP is an innovative workforce-development program that combines soft- and hard-skills training, collaboration with employers, and job placement with career coaching and retention support.  The goal is to give participants a positive track record of employment to obtain a job.

"ULEM is helping mature workers move themselves and their families out of poverty," said Donna Cupelo, Verizon region president of New England.  "The Verizon Foundation has a long history of focusing on literacy, education and workforce development initiatives for people at all stages of their lives."

ULEM partners with 68 local organizations that serve as training sites for the training program's participants. Said Darnell L. Williams, ULEM's president and CEO: "Verizon's support for ULEM demonstrates leadership that is needed during these challenging times.  An investment in employable and life skills is essential to gaining successful employment.  Together, our partnership can improve the lives of families."  

The Verizon Foundation supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $68 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26 million in combined contributions to nonprofits.  Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Founded in 1917, the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts (ULEM) is dedicated to building stronger communities by helping people achieve economic independence.  As a champion of civil rights, the ULEM provides hope to local residents in the form education, job training and placement at no cost. Their track record for connecting corporations with well-trained members of local neighborhoods results in a vibrant, self-reliant community which takes pride in its achievements and inspires others to do the same.  To learn more please visit our website at www.ulem.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 89 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 230,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.