Work Force Development Grants Available For Great Lakes Area Nonprofits, Schools

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -Nonprofit organizations engaged in work force development initiatives in the Great Lakes region are invited to compete for $500,000 in grants to be distributed this year by Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications.

A request for proposal (RFP) issued by Verizon Foundation notes that applications for Great Lakes Region 2001 Work Force Development Awards are currently being sought from nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organizations and eligible educational institutions in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Grant proposals are due by May 18 and preference will be given to projects that benefit communities served by Verizon. The foundation will award one-year grants, ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 each.

"A pool of skilled employees is key to the future economic health of our region. There's a strong need for people who understand and can work with current and emerging technologies. Projects that equip eager employees with these skills certainly are key to our region's success," said John Dudley, Great Lakes region president for Verizon. "We are eager to support initiatives that use technology to help create a skilled work force, provide opportunities for personal growth for the participants, and result in long-term, sustainable benefits for the community," he continued.

"We're particularly interested in proposals relating to welfare-to-work, school-to-work, career advancement programs for women and minorities, and use of technology training tools for people with disabilities."

To promote technology and more effectively serve the nonprofit community, Verizon Foundation has made all of its programs available online. The foundation requires that all grant applications be made online at its Web site (www.verizon.com/foundation). On the Web site, select Partnership Opportunities and Apply Online.

Educational institutions and other nonprofit organizations with questions regarding the application process may direct them to the Verizon community affairs manager in their area. Contact information for local managers also is available on the Web site.

Grant recipients will be announced by Aug. 6.

Verizon 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 across the United States and selected foreign countries.

The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts for nonprofit organizations.

Verizon Communications

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 nearly 109 million access line equivalents and more than 27.5 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the world's largest provider of print and online directory information. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $63 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.

Mike Berry,

John VanWyck, Michigan,

Tracy Scholle, Illinois,

Lou Ann Novak, Ohio,

Deborah Hoft, Indiana,

Lou Ann Novak, Wisconsin,