Verizon Targets Economic Development In Virginia with Grants Totaling Nearly $80,000

RICHMOND, Va. - Four non-profit agencies in Virginia will receive grants from Verizon Foundation totaling nearly $80,000 to fund workforce development efforts. Verizon Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications.

"Economic vitality depends on ongoing workforce development programs so that area workers are qualified for jobs that are being driven by ever-changing technology," said Robert Woltz, president of Verizon Virginia. "Verizon has invested billions of dollars in the region's telecommunications infrastructure and cares deeply about the communities it serves."

Verizon announced last May that it was seeking proposals for grants that would support workforce development. Specifically, the proposals were to include job retraining, school-to-work programs, teacher preparedness, welfare-to-work programs and programs that prepare people with disabilities to enter the workforce.

The 2003 grant winners are:

Clinch Valley Community Action Inc. (Tazewell) -- $20,000 to fund Computer Skills for Everyone. The program will provide free computer literacy classes for people who have few or no computer skills or have learning disabilities.

Hispanic Committee of Virginia (Falls Church) -- $20,000 to help fund the Hispanic Entrepreneurial Project, which provides computer-based training to Spanish-speaking citizens in Northern Virginia interested in launching their own business.

Jubilee Family Development Center Inc. (Lynchburg) -- $19,330 to help fund its Occupational Outreach Program, which targets at-risk youth. The program will use computer-based technology to develop electronic skills.

Thomas Nelson Community College (Hampton) -- $20,000 to fund two computer-training courses: Bridging the Digital Divide and Workplace Learning. The classes will be offered to under-skilled and unemployed people in the Greater Williamsburg area.

Verizon Foundation last year awarded 22,000 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 more than 500,000 hours in their communities and provided $27.8 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $67 billion in revenues and 221,000 employees. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 137.6 million access line equivalents and 34.6 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 14.6 million long-distance lines. The company 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.