Verizon Supports 253 New Jersey Non-Profit Groups to Promote Literacy, Technology and Work Force Development

NEWARK, N.J. - Verizon reaffirmed its commitment to the communities that the company serves in New Jersey by providing grants in 2003 for a broad range of literacy, work force development, technology and human service programs.

Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, last year donated more than $2.9 million to 253 nonprofit groups in New Jersey. Nationwide, the foundation donated about $70 million to worthy causes and charities, including matching nearly $14 million in donations from employees.

"We believe in investing in our communities through strategic partnerships with organizations that support education and literacy, technology education, and health and human services," said Dennis M. Bone, president, Verizon New Jersey. "Verizon's grants continue to underscore our long-standing goal of improving the communities we serve and our commitment to providing outstanding service to our customers."

Recipients of major grants included:

  • New Jersey Reads - A statewide campaign to enlist volunteer reading tutors and to raise awareness of issues surrounding low literacy levels.

  • John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development - A three-year commitment to help define future skills and education requirements demanded by several key industries in the state.

  • NJ Arts TIX - A program allowing 60 New Jersey theaters and arts venues to sell same-day, reduced-priced tickets to arts patrons.

In addition, literacy grants went to Literacy Volunteers of America - New Jersey Inc., Walt Whitman Cultural Arts Center, South Jersey Interfaith Coalition for Literacy, Urban League of Morris County and Project Grad Newark Inc.

In support of technology education, Verizon also awarded grants to the Liberty Science Center, New Brunswick Tomorrow, Senior Citizens Activity Network and the Roosmoor Computer Club Association.

Verizon recognized the importance of the state's work force development programs by awarding additional grants to the Latin American Economic Development Association Inc., Middle Earth, St. Vincent Academy, the Union County Economic Development Corp. and New Institute of Technology.

Other grant recipients include Rutgers University, The ARC of Somerset County, Association for Children of New Jersey, Foundation for New Jersey Public Broadcasting Inc. and the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.

In addition to the Verizon Foundation grants, 543 agencies received more than $785,000 through Verizon Volunteers, a program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to the nonprofit organizations that employees support.

Verizon Foundation ranks as one of the largest corporate foundations in America, providing grants and developing programs to support the communities where Verizon does business. The foundation places special emphasis on literacy, work force development and the use of technology for the benefit of all people. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

A Fortune 20 Company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.