Verizon to Recruit Job Corps Students in New Jersey

EDISON, N.J. - A program launched by Verizon Communications with the U.S. Department of Labor will create job opportunities for students at the Edison Job Corps Academy while helping the company recruit employees in New Jersey.

Under the program, announced here today by Assistant Secretary of Labor Raymond Bramucci, the academy will identify and prepare qualified students to apply for entry-level customer service positions with Verizon, the national communications company formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE.

"This joint venture will help Verizon meet the demand for trained customer-service professionals and create career opportunities for qualified Edison Job Corps Academy students in the telecommunications industry," Bramucci said.

Verizon will provide the academy's job counselors with access to a specially designed Web site that will enable them to check the company's job openings and schedule Job Corps students for on-campus employment testing. In addition, Verizon recruiters will visit the academy to explain career opportunities with the company. The Job Corps also will provide training, where necessary, that will prepare students for employment testing.

The program expands on a first-of-its-kind partnership between the Department of Labor and Bell Atlantic established last year to bring diverse workers into the booming telecommunications industry. The partnership recruits people who have not traditionally been part of the workforce - people on welfare, laid-off workers, disadvantaged youth and adults, and people with disabilities - as well as the general population of job seekers.

"Our initial agreement with the Department of Labor created a new pipeline of job candidates for our business while reducing the costs to recruit, screen and hire qualified workers," said Dennis Bone, president of Verizon New Jersey. "We are confident that our new Job Corps program will expand our pool of diverse, qualified job candidates in the Garden State."

The Job Corps, operated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, was established as part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. It provides educational, vocational and social skills training to disadvantaged applicants ages 16-24. More than 60,000 students receive training annually at more than 120 centers throughout the United States. A major program objective is to ensure that students receive training in occupations that provide a living wage and long-term employment opportunities.

The Edison Job Corps Academy, opened in 1965, is one of the oldest Job Corps residential training centers in the country. Currently, there are 530 students, most of whom live at the facility.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, 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 more than 100 million access line equivalents and more than 26 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.