Verizon Supports Nearly 60 North Carolina Nonprofit Groups To Promote Literacy, Technology And Workforce Development

DURHAM, N.C. -- Verizon reaffirmed its commitment to improving literacy and technology education in North Carolina last year through grants for a broad range of literacy, workforce development, community technology and human service programs. Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, donated $503,830 to 57 nonprofit groups in the state during 2002.

"In today's tight economy, nonprofit organizations need financial assistance now more than ever," said Steve Toler, Verizon's vice president for public affairs in North Carolina. "Verizon's grants underscore our long-standing goals of improving the communities we serve and providing outstanding service to our customers."

Recipients of major grants included:

  • Durham Literacy Council -- $100,000 to fund Parents Powered-Up, an initiative that combines parental involvement with computer technology to close the achievement gap separating low-income and ethnic minority children from their mainstream peers.

  • Development Foundation of Western North Carolina -- $16,000 to support workforce development efforts targeted toward the construction industry and led by Western Carolina University.

  • Western North Carolina Economic Development Commission -- $11,000 to support workforce development and economic development efforts in western North Carolina, focusing on biotechnology and partnering with public schools, community colleges, economic developers, the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the NC Employment Security Commission.

Nearly half of Verizon's grants, $211,200, targeted literacy efforts in the state. Contributions to workforce development projects accounted for an additional $148, 550.

In addition to Verizon Foundation grants, the foundation contributed more than $145,000, matching the contributions of money and volunteer time from Verizon's North Carolina employees.

Verizon Foundation is committed to helping people and communities make progress every day. The foundation supports a variety of programs that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, bridging the digital divide, enriching communities through technology and creating a skilled work force. The foundation promotes partnerships in technology with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

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 135.0 million access line equivalents and 31.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and more than 236,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 35 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.

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