LAS VEGAS -- Verizon's future is directly tied to the economic development and prosperity of the Hispanic community, a company executive yesterday told Hispanic publishers meeting in Las Vegas.
Eduardo Menascé, president of Verizon's Enterprise Solutions unit, said the rapidly growing Hispanic population combined with their consumption of communications services makes the group vitally important to the Verizon's long-term growth. He spoke at the National Hispanic Publishers Convention, an annual gathering that draws publishers of Hispanic newspapers and magazines from around the country.
Menascé said that Hispanics are spending more than $20 billion annually on communications services, more than 40 percent of the communications expenditures by all ethnic groups. With more than half of the 22 million Hispanics adults in the U.S. already online, Latinos are one of the fastest growing segments of the Internet-using population.
"What really has our attention is that these numbers are getting bigger fast, as Hispanic buying power and population size continue to grow faster than the national average," Menascé said. "So when we say that your future is our future, it's not an exaggeration -- it's a fact," he said.
As evidence of the company's commitment to serving the Hispanic community, Verizon Foundation recently gave a $170,000 economic development grant to dramatically increase the number of Hispanic publications with the fully audited circulation base that regional and national advertisers demand.
He said Verizon is committed to engaging and empowering the company's Hispanic customers, suppliers, employees and nonprofit partners to ensure they have full access to all the opportunities the economy has to offer.
Verizon is transforming itself into a bilingual company to assure the Hispanic community is served. Verizon SuperPages, the Internet's leading online directory, is available in Spanish. More than 600 Spanish-speaking Verizon customer service representatives and two of the company's business sales centers are devoted to Hispanic customers.
Verizon Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm, is the first and only completely bilingual corporate foundation. The foundation partners with virtually every major Hispanic nonprofit organization in the country and last year provided more than $15 million, or 20 percent of the company's total foundation budget, in grants to Hispanic nonprofits.
Menascé said those investments are funding projects all over the U.S. and Puerto Rico and address a broad range of community needs, from closing the digital divide to deploying technology to workforce development.
Menascé called upon publishers to help Verizon unlock the full potential of the Hispanic community and pledged to extend the benefits of the company's technology and resources to the broadest number of people. Citing commonality with the publishers, he said, "We firmly believe that communication in its most profound sense is a force for good in society -- helping inform, educate and empower the people whose lives we touch."
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 135.8 million access line equivalents and 32.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and 229,500 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 30 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.