High-Tech Training to Prepare Mercer County Students for Jobs Building the Information Superhighway

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High-Tech Training to Prepare Mercer County Students for Jobs Building the Information Superhighway

Bell Atlantic's TEC 2000 Training Program Comes to Mercer County

February 25, 1998

Media contacts:

Maureen Flanagan

NEWARK, N.J. - TEC 2000, Bell Atlantic's statewide partnership
program to train high-school juniors and seniors in the
telecommunications crafts, is coming to the Mercer County Vocational
Technical School this fall.

"Mercer County is pleased to be the home of the newest TEC 2000
Center," said Robert Prunetti, Mercer County Executive. "This is the
perfect example of public/private partnerships that work. Mercer
County, the Mercer County Workforce Investment Board and Bell
Atlantic-New Jersey are working together to help train our workforce
for the telecommunications jobs of the future."

"The Information Superhighway is the Brooklyn Bridge, Erie Canal and
transcontinental railroad of our generation," said Len J. Lauer,
president and CEO of Bell Atlantic-New Jersey. "But unlike watershed
projects of the past, which depended on unskilled labor, the
Information Superhighway will be built entirely by highly skilled,
well-paid technicians."

"TEC 2000 will train those technicians, right here in Mercer County,"
Lauer said. "The world knows that the Brooklyn Bridge was designed --
and partially built -- at the Roebling works in Trenton. The people
of this county always have been nation builders. Through TEC 2000,
Bell Atlantic hopes to contribute to your industrial legacy."

TEC 2000 is an outgrowth of Project SMART, a nationally recognized
telecommunications apprentice partnership between Bell Atlantic, the
Ocean County Vocational Technical School and the Toms River School

High-school juniors and seniors who participated in Project SMART
studied telecommunications, apprenticed under seasoned
telecommunications workers and took advantage of work-based learning.

In May 1996, Bell Atlantic established telecommunications training
sites at vocational schools across the state with the cooperation of
the N.J. Department of Education, the N.J. Department of Labor and the
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). TEC 2000 - an
abbreviation for technology education centers - was born. Since then,
approximately 50 students have graduated from the program.

Mercer County is the 10th vocational school in New Jersey to host a
TEC 2000 site. Other sites are located in Cape May, Salem,
Burlington, Ocean, Morris, Somerset, Hudson and Passaic Counties, and
at Newark Technology High school, with two more sites planned to open
next year.

Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX -
is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With 40.5 million telephone access lines and six 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 21 countries.

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