Major corporations join forces to invest $100 million for dependent care; estimated 1,000 projects to be funded in largest private sector initiative

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BOSTON, MA-- In a powerful declaration of support for their employees, 21 major corporations announced today they are jointly launching a $100 million initiative to develop and strengthen school-age, child care and elder care projects in communities across the country.

The companies are expected to take the lead in funding more than 1,000 projects over the next six years in a massive, collaborative effort that includes support for research and development for national pilot programs, including a voice technology project for public schools.

The initiative announced by the lead -- or Champion -- companies of the American Business Collaboration for Quality Dependent Care is believed to be the largest investment ever in dependent care by the private sector.

The funds will provide support for a broad array of projects ranging from training for day care providers and science/technology camps for school-age children to a money management program for senior citizens.

In a strongly worded, joint statement signed by the chief executive officers of all the Champion companies, they made it clear that their support for dependent care was based on bottom line business factors. "We believe that supporting the diverse dependent care needs of our employees is critical to our success as it enables our companies to attract and retain a productive, competitive, committed and motivated workforce," they said. "We do this because the availability of quality dependent care programs...enable our employees to do their best at work by helping them manage their work and personal responsibilities," they said.

The statement was signed by the CEOs of Aetna Life & Casualty, Allstate Insurance, American Express, Amoco, AT&T, Bank of America, Chevron, Citibank,

Deloitte & Touche LLP, Eastman Kodak, Eccon, GE Capital Services,

Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Mobil, NYNEX, Price Waterhouse LLP, Texaco, Texas Instruments and Xerox.

Today's announcement actually begins the second phase of the American Business Collaboration for Quality Dependent Care, a national effort launched three years ago this month to increase the supply and enhance the quality of child and elder programs throughout the country.

During the first phase, some 156 businesses, governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations invested more than $27 million in 45 communities in 25 states and the District of Columbia.

They supported 355 dependent care projects which have been utilized by more than 277,000 individuals to date, including dependents of employees and community residents.

Together, the Champions and collaborating organizations in targeted communities have already committed to investing $100 million over the next six years. More than 100 projects are already underway.

NYNEX is a global communications and media company that provides a full range of services in the northeastern United States and high-growth markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, Thailand, Gibraltar, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The Corporation is a leader in the telecommunications, wireless communications, cable television, directory publishing and entertainment and information services.


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