Verizon to Open Retail Store on 125th Street; Customer Facility Among First 'Verizon Plus' Centers in U.S.

NEW YORK -- Verizon is boosting its commitment to Harlem by selecting 125th Street as the site for one of the first "Verizon Plus" retail stores in the country.

The company will be completely renovating the Verizon public office located at 148 West 125th St..

In addition, Verizon is reaching out to the community with Internet training programs and by its sponsorship of the annual Harlem Week celebration.

"Verizon intends to remain a dynamic force in Harlem," said Paul Crotty, group president-New York for Verizon. "Our decision to make Harlem one of the first locations in the country for Verizon Plus is a clear signal we intend to engage our customers in this dynamic community and to offer them our best services from our newest retail outlet."

The Harlem Verizon Plus location will offer all Verizon products and services available in New York, including wireless services, to residential and small business customers. Customers will be able to try out services through many hands-on demonstrations throughout the store and talk with Verizon representatives about their personal and small business needs. In addition, the facility will continue to provide payment processing and customer support services.

The Verizon Plus announcement coincides with Verizon sponsorship of the 28th Annual Harlem Week, organized by the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce. Verizon is funding activities during the now month-long celebration and tribute to the culture, history and education of Harlem.

During the Harlem Week celebration, Verizon also is seeking to build awareness of the Verizon Education & Technology Center (VETC) in Harlem.

The center, which is also located at the company's 125th Street location, provides customized, free seminars to Verizon's residential customers, small businesses, entrepreneurs, community-based organizations, health and human services organizations, civic and church groups, seniors, educators, and students from elementary school through graduate school. Popular courses include how to use the Internet and how to build a Web site.

"The people of Harlem continue to benefit from our free seminars, acquiring new skills that enable them to help their children with schoolwork and to more fully participate in the technological revolution," said Parimal Santiago, director of the center for Verizon. "We serve everyone -- from grandparents who want to swap e-mail with their grandchildren to artisans with crafts to sell on the Web. Anyone can enroll in our free seminars and take full advantage of the Internet."

Construction of the Verizon Plus center will begin this month and is expected to be completed in October.

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 133.8 million access line equivalents and approximately 29.6 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and nearly 248,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.