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Capital Commitment Names Bell Atlantic
'Telecommunications Company of the Year'
Company Praised for Support of Job Training Programs
November 3, 1999
WASHINGTON -- Bell Atlantic is committed to providing a helping hand
to prepare students for the workplace, but recently it was the company's
turn to receive a hand for its support of job training programs in
Capital Commitment, a telecommunications jobs training program in the
District, named Bell Atlantic "Telecommunications Company of the
Year" at its annual awards dinner.
In addition, Bell Atlantic - Washington President and CEO Marie C.
Johns was honored as "Telecommunications Person of the
Year" and Kenneth Clark, vice president - External Affairs for Bell
Atlantic - Washington, accepted a Leadership in Community Service
award for Bell Atlantic's support of education. Bell Atlantic Vice
President - Long Distance Operations Brad Boehmler also received
special recognition as Capital Commitment's outgoing Board chairman.
"Telecommunications competition has brought many new
companies into the city," said Capital Commitment Co-Founder
Ernest Boykin. "Bell Atlantic and its employees are serving as
catalysts to get these companies involved in giving back to the
community. Bell Atlantic is not just sprinkling money; it is leading by
example. The company is with us -- hands on -- and it is encouraging other
companies to follow. Unless all big companies contribute in this manner,
a segment of our community will miss the technology revolution and we
will end up being a society of haves and have-nots."
Bell Atlantic received the awards for its programs and educational
partnerships to help students prepare for the workplace. The awards also
reflect the involvement of numerous Bell Atlantic employees who were
recognized for their sincere, untiring, hands-on efforts to make a
difference in the lives of young people, especially those at risk.
"Capital Commitment has the courage to care about the abused and
forgotten members of our communities -- to help them connect with jobs
that open the door to good pay and social advancement," said Bruce
Gordon, group president - Enterprise Business for Bell Atlantic, during
his keynote speech at the awards dinner.
Clark said, "The program is placing good quality workers into many
of our businesses. When you see students walk across that stage [at
graduation], you have to know that -- often a whole family has
graduated -- from welfare to work, from being on the dole to being on the
payroll, from getting aid to getting paid. And that's what this is all
Bell Atlantic has formed a number of partnerships and initiatives in the
District of Columbia to support education. Its School-to-Career Program
communicates the business community's requirements to educators and
students through mentoring, job-shadowing and internships. The company
partners with the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship to
teach junior high school students the fundamentals of business.
In addition, Bell Atlantic has established six Technology Learning Centers
that provide computer training and Internet access to District residents
throughout the city. The company also is providing $1 million a year,
over three years, to a project called Students Educated for Economic
Development Success (SEEDS) to "seed" the development of
Capital Commitment's job training program and similar programs offered
by other organizations.
Capital Commitment was founded in 1991 by Ernest and Laverne Boykin
to empower at-risk individuals, with little opportunity, to get jobs in the
telecommunications industry. Program participants must complete an
eight-week "Life Preparation Program" before their technical
training begins. The curriculum has expanded over the years to include
training for jobs at large corporations including Lucent Technologies and
"Tomorrow's job applicants must be technology savvy," said
Gordon. "Capital Commitment is giving local residents both the
education and experience to become skilled, valued 'knowledge workers'
of this new information-based economy. Together we'll create the
intellectual capital necessary to advance the District's standing in the
Ninety-eight percent of Capital Commitment graduates go on to careers,
many in the booming telecommunications marketplace.
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines
and more than 10 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic
companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data
services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest
publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also
among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications
markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.