Verizon Supports More Than 500 Illinois Groups to Promote Literacy, Technology and Work Force Development

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Verizon reaffirmed its commitment to the communities that the company serves in Illinois by providing grants in 2004 for a broad range of literacy, work force development, technology and human service programs.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, last year donated $1.6 million to 537 nonprofit groups in Illinois. The annual amount included more than $1 million in employee contributions combined with the foundation's match. The foundation's Verizon Volunteers program encourages employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to the nonprofit organizations that employees support.

Nationwide, the foundation donated more than $71.4 million to charitable and nonprofit organizations, including matching $18.7 million in donations from employees.

"We're pleased to continue investing in the communities we serve through strategic partnerships with organizations that support the residents in our state," said Philip J. Wood Jr., Verizon vice president-public affairs, policy and communications in Bloomington.

Recipients of major grants in 2004 included:

  • Highland Community College Adult Education Family Literacy Program -- $65,000 to help create and support an adult education and literacy system that is offered by Adult Education and Family Literacy services in the four-county community college district of Northwest Illinois.

  • Northern Illinois University Foundation -- $50,000 to assist in the development and delivery of an education program for secondary-school students that will promote minority-student participation in college engineering and technology programs.

  • United Way of McLean County -- $33,000 to provide employment search services for individuals with vocational barriers.

  • Lawrence/Crawford Association for Exceptional Citizens - $25,000 to fund its Work Force Training Development Project, a curriculum involving adaptive computer technology and vocation training for individuals with special needs.

In addition, literacy grants went to Beethoven Elementary School, Egyptian Community Unit School District #5, First Book McLean County, Jacksonville Journal-Courier's Newspapers in Education/Literacy Program, The Literacy Council and The Baby Fold.

In support of technology education, Verizon also awarded grants to Martin Luther King High School, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Home Sweet Home Ministries, Holy Trinity Elementary School and Northern Illinois University. Verizon recognized the importance of the state's work force development programs by awarding additional grants to the Rural Partners, University of Illinois, DeKalb County Community Fund and Northern Illinois University.

In 2004, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than 26,000 grants totaling more than $70 million to charitable and nonprofit agencies that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, enriching communities through technology, and creating a skilled work force. The foundation uses its resources in the United States and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, and the economically and socially disadvantaged.

The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that last year encouraged Verizon employees to volunteer 528,000 hours in their communities and provided $37.6 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 210,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom serves customers based in 29 states with wireline telecommunications services, including broadband and other services. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 43.8 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.