Verizon Dedicates New Center in Chesapeake, Va., to Serve Wholesale Customers

CHESPEAKE, Va. - Verizon Communications, the national telecommunications company formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, will create a center in Chesapeake to serve the company's growing number of wholesale customers. The center, slated to open Aug. 8, will add 300 new jobs to Verizon's existing workforce of 2,400 in the Hampton Roads area.

The center will process requests for new digital loop service from those phone companies that buy Verizon's network components on a wholesale basis and then use those components in the provisioning of their service. Over 100 carriers have been certified by the State Corporation Commission to provide local phone service in Virginia.

"They may have changed their name, but not their commitment to Virginia," said U.S. Rep. Norman Sisisky, whose fourth Congressional district includes Chesapeake. "Not only will this new center create hundreds of new jobs in Chesapeake, it serves as evidence of the growing number of telecommunications carriers that are actively competing with Verizon."

Robert Woltz, president of Verizon's operations in Virginia, said the new center "typifies the enormous effort we are making to meet the needs of our wholesale customers. We're delighted that the corporation would choose the Old Dominion, and specifically the Hampton Roads area, for this operation."

The newly constructed center will occupy about 43,000 square feet on the top two floors of a three-story building at the Battlefield Corporate Center, near Battlefield Parkway and I-664. Verizon's center will begin limited operation in August with approximately 50 employees. It is expected to be fully staffed by the end of the year.

Last year Bell Atlantic, Verizon's predecessor, created 1,000 new jobs to focus strictly on serving local telecommunications carriers.

"The companies that these centers serve are some of our most complex and fastest growing customers," Woltz said. "We will do what it takes to ensure they receive high-quality service."

Most of the new jobs at the Verizon center will be service representative which has a starting weekly salary of $348.50. Employees who gain experience and proficiency can earn as much as $773.50 a week.

The company will not be advertising the positions. It already has a full pool of applicants.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, 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 95 million access lines and 25 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 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.