Wenatchee Area (Wash.) Nonprofits Get Help with Work-force Development Programs for Local Residents

EVERETT, Wash. -- Programs that help local residents find jobs and enhance computer skills will benefit from $6,500 in grants from Verizon. Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, is providing the funds to three Wenatchee area nonprofit organizations.

"Washington faces challenging economic issues, and Verizon can play a critical role in helping the region prosper by supporting programs that improve the skills of the local work force," said Shelia Lau, Verizon regional president. "Verizon continues to be committed to helping the communities we serve become better educated and technologically fluent. Our goal is to reduce unemployment and increase the use of technology."

The three organizations are among 18 nonprofit agencies across the state of Washington that are receiving grants totaling more than $120,000 from Verizon.

Local grant recipients include:

  • Chelan-Douglas County Community Action Council, Wenatchee -- $2,000 for the South Wenatchee Neighborhood Computer Lab. This joint project with the South Wenatchee Family Services Center will establish an introductory computer program for the Hispanic residents of the South Wenatchee neighborhood. The project helps residents learn to use computers and find jobs in the area's growing technology sector. The lab, featuring 25 computers, will be open two evenings a week and offer bilingual administrative help, childcare and literacy programs. It is anticipated the lab will assist 50 Spanish-speaking residents per quarter.

  • United Way of Chelan and Douglas Counties, Wenatchee -- $2,500 for the Community Technology Upgrades Project. The grant will be used to purchase new computers and a new server used for job training programs for the unemployed and homeless. The equipment is for the Hospitality House and Nutrition Center, which offers Web site development, graphics and general computer training to homeless and unemployed residents in Chelan and Douglas Counties.

  • Upper Valley Mend, Leavenworth -- $2,000 for the Alpine Heights II Duplex Project. The funds will be used to purchase tools for laborers participating in a new Construction Apprenticeship program. The agency's project manager and a crew of former orchard workers will build the Alpine Heights II Duplex Project. The duplex project will provide stable, affordable rentals for low-to-moderate-income families who will later apply to buy homes in housing developments constructed by the agency. Renters will receive training in home ownership and basic home maintenance. In addition, a portion of the rent will be set aside for closing costs on their future home, in exchange for taking responsibility for the basic maintenance of the rental unit.

This year Verizon will provide more than $1 million in grants, contributions and sponsorships for literacy, technology, economic development and workforce development programs in the Pacific Northwest.

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.