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EVERETT, Wash. - The Verizon Foundation has awarded $175,000 in grants to 16 Puget Sound nonprofit organizations providing educational and technological services to their clients. The foundation has contributed a total of $307,000 to organizations in the area this year.
"Verizon's commitment to literacy, technology and work force training go hand in hand with our company's deployment of technology to benefit customers," said John Gustafson, Verizon Northwest director of external affairs. "These grants offer expanded opportunities for those served by these organizations."
The following organizations were awarded grants:
- Bellevue Entrepreneur Center -- $10,000 to provide business orientation workshops for minorities and women seeking to start new businesses or expand existing ones. Workshops will take place twice a month at Bellevue Community College. BEC has already identified 1,200 potential participants.
- Cascadia Community College -- $10,000 to support the Via Nueva English-as-a-Second Language program, which emphasizes improving workplace communications and mastering business office computer applications. Funds will be used to purchase textbooks and skills assessment software, including the interactive language software products.
- Center for Career Alternatives -- $10,000 to add a technology component to the Career Readiness program and to provide individualized assistance at the Career Resource Center. Participants in the Career Readiness Program are youth ages 16-21 who have left school without attaining a high school credential. More than 90 percent of CCA participants are from disadvantaged populations, and more than 50 percent have not completed even basic keyboarding.
- King County Sexual Assault Resource Center -- $15,000 to convene a domestic violence and sexual assault online experiential training program beginning in north King County. The Legal Entities Training will inform attendees of online resources such as orders of protection. The Sexual Assault Resource Center will partner with NPower of Seattle to develop training components, Web links, and offer Web consulting and consumer guides for stakeholders.
- Museum WOW.com -- $8,320 to help develop a prototype online museum that will feature exhibits and educational materials that are both entertaining and informative. The museum will use audio, text, video, flash animation, streaming video, high resolution graphics and an array of interactive opportunities for its visitors. As a virtual museum, this endeavor is open to everyone, but the initial target audience is children, parents, educators and lifelong learners.
- NPower-- $10,000 to support a comprehensive effort to assist nonprofits across the Puget Sound region with the selection of appropriate fund-raising software. This will include development of an updated and enhanced consumer guide for choosing fund-raising software and coordination of two fund-raising training events to showcase the process.
- Potlatch Fund -- $20,000 to work in partnership with affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians to implement the Empowerment Through Technology Initiative. This program will deliver technology training across Indian country in Washington state. The program will address unmet needs and demand for technical training services from a native perspective, for native entrepreneurs. Culturally appropriate curriculum and associated Web-based training, as well as Web hosting and e-promotion, will be developed and taught.
- Seattle Children's Home -- $8,000 to educate and train the agency's professional staff by shifting to an online-based program called Essential Learning. The program will allow for all education and training opportunities to be offered on-site at Seattle Children's Home. Improved training will help SCH realize its mission: helping more than 1,000 of Washington's most emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children and their families by providing comprehensive mental health and developmental services.
- Senior Services of Snohomish County -- $10,000 to help senior citizens navigate the labyrinth of information about health and human services. The funds will be used to purchase Resource House software to improve technology and training for the 211 information and referral call-processing center. The state-approved software provides multi-agency information and referral services to the public and professionals via phone, e-mail and Web sites.
- South County Senior Center -- $5,000 for a demonstration project that will train older workers in basic office software. The program will be implemented in cooperation with the AARP Foundation's Senior Community Service Employment Project. This program will be open to very low-income seniors. Participants will be placed in positions at local business and nonprofit organizations at minimum wage for 20 hours per week. This test project has national significance for the AARP because there are a growing number of seniors who either need to work or want to.
- Snohomish County Economic Development Council's Center for Business and Employment Development -- $12,000 to provide tools that will showcase Snohomish County as a technology hub for industries including aerospace, biotech, biomedical, electronics and IT. As part of the Snohomish County Technology Corridor Jobs Initiative, the EDC is seeking to develop a Web site to help to recruit high-tech companies to the county. .
- South Snohomish County Chamber of Commerce -- $10,000 to build on a previous grant from the Verizon Foundation for a Web platform. This grant will further the development of that project by providing ethnic communities in the area with access to business and community information that is translated into multiple languages such as Korean, Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese.
- Tacoma Community House -- $15,000 to develop new ways to attract students and use training methods and strategies that increase student success. The Tacoma Community House Training Project proposes to increase students' access to adult literacy programs statewide through a literacy hotline and Web site directory. The agency will also introduce programs using the most effective technologies for managing its volunteers and teaching adult literacy at a statewide conference.
- United Way of Snohomish County -- $18,000 to develop a partnership with the Northwest Institute for Nonprofit Excellence and Everett Community College to offer financial management courses for nonprofit organizations. These courses address a range of financial issues, from basic to complex, that nonprofits face every day. Special emphasis is placed on courses that teach how to use a variety of online financial tools including budget and cash flow analysis, financial statement analysis, system controls and operational risk management.
- Washington Community Alliance for Self Help (CASH) -- $10,000 to provide a comprehensive web of business development services for about 300 King County clients in fiscal year 2006. This includes business development training, computer training and consulting, mentoring, one-to-one coaching and peer loan support. Washington CASH helps low-income individuals, particularly women, launch new businesses, and the organization will add more than a dozen new participants to the Individual Development Account Program.
- YMCA of Snohomish County -- $5,000 to support the 2006 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration. Next year's celebration will include a diversity breakfast at Everett Station; an assembly at Marysville-Pilchuck High School for about 1,000 students, featuring keynote speaker Sherman Alexie; a community march through downtown Everett; a community event featuring Sherman Alexie at the Everett Events Center; and the 6th-annual Prodigies for Peace essay contest, open to all schools in Snohomish County. Winning essays will be shared at the Diversity Breakfast.
The Verizon Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications. In 2004, the foundation awarded more than 26,000 grants totaling over $70 million to charitable and nonprofit agencies that focus on improving literacy, computer and technology skills, and identifying domestic violence solutions. The foundation uses its resources in the United States and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, and the economically and socially disadvantaged.
The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that last year encouraged Verizon employees to volunteer 528,000 hours in their communities and provided $37.6 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 49.3 million customers nationwide, and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving home, business and wholesale customers in 28 states. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of nearly 215,000 and generates annual revenues of more than $71 billion from four business segments: Domestic Telecom, Domestic Wireless, Information Services and International. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.