Verizon Payroll Soars Above 17,000 in New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. - Verizon's workforce in New Jersey climbed past the 17,000 mark in April as the company added jobs, rolled out its new fiber network, and consolidated operations in the state. Labor leaders praised the company's actions, which the leaders said would help stimulate New Jersey's economy.

As of May 1, Verizon -- one of the state's largest private-sector employers -- had more than 17,100 employees in New Jersey, an increase of more than 1,900 since 2005, the year Verizon announced it would create its new operations center in Basking Ridge. The company anticipates adding still more jobs later this year.

"New Jersey is a major employment center for our company," said Dennis Bone, president of Verizon New Jersey. "We're in the midst of bringing 3,300 jobs to our new operations center in Basking Ridge, and nearly half of them are new jobs for New Jersey."

Over the past 16 months, the company has also hired nearly 350 union technicians in New Jersey to help construct Verizon's new fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network. This state-of-the-art network will enable Verizon to offer the nation's best digital television, high-speed data and crystal-clear voice services.

In addition, Verizon also hired more than 400 call-center representatives who will handle service orders, including those for services associated with the new network.

"Verizon is doing the right thing in New Jersey," said Raymond M. Pocino, vice-president and eastern regional manager of the Laborers International Union of North America. "Verizon's fiber-related activities will stimulate New Jersey's economy, create jobs, generate more competition and give the consumer more choices."

Phil Beachem, president of the Alliance for Action, the state's largest labor and management organization, said, "Verizon is doing great things for New Jersey's economy. "They should be applauded for showing real commitment to New Jersey by adding jobs and enhancing technologies - both of which help the state's bottom line."

Verizon is supporting pending legislation that would streamline New Jersey's antiquated video franchise laws, a move that, if passed, will lead to even more jobs in New Jersey. Recognizing that, more than a dozen unions, labor organizations and construction firms are fully supporting Verizon's effort to update the state's onerous and anti-consumer video franchise laws.

"We're adding hundreds of good-paying, union jobs to help bring an end to the cable industry stranglehold in New Jersey," said Bone. "New Jersey is front and center in the communications revolution, and we're proud to have a solid and growing presence here."

The company is in the midst of building its FTTP network in 147 New Jersey communities. Verizon expects to have nearly 200 cities and towns "wired with fiber" by the end of 2006. To assist with network construction, about 125 union workers have been hired by private construction companies to help build the network.

"In Basking Ridge, in Trenton and hundreds of communities throughout the state, Verizon is committed to doing the right things in New Jersey," said Bone. "With updated policies and labor organizations at our side, we look forward to doing even more."

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 53 million customers nationwide; one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks; and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving mass market and wholesale customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.