Gov. Riley Announces Verizon Wireless Plan for 1,300 Jobs in Huntsville, Alabama

HUNTSVILLE, AL — Gov. Bob Riley announced today that Verizon Wireless, the wireless industry leader in customer loyalty and operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network, will build a new, high-tech state headquarters facility in Huntsville, bringing up to 1,300 jobs and an investment of over $44 million to the area.

"This is outstanding news for Huntsville and the state of Alabama," said Gov. Riley. "Today's announcement is proof that a strong business climate-good schools, a solid community and a highly-skilled workforce — make a difference to growing businesses like Verizon Wireless looking to expand."

"This investment in our community shows more people see what we already know about Huntsville. It is a great place to live and work. The high quality of life, low crime rate, and our clean and beautiful city continue to attract companies that see Huntsville as the place to begin or grow a business," said Huntsville Mayor Loretta Spencer. Madison County Commission Chairman Mike Gillespie added the company offers diverse job opportunities, signaling smart growth and an increasingly healthy, local economy.

The company's new, 152,389 square foot state headquarters is expected to be completed in late 2007. The company plans to break ground by year's end, with hiring to begin next summer. Approximately 1,300 jobs will be created for the facility and include customer service and business functions. More details will be provided in the near future about how to apply for a position.

"Our new state headquarters and customer service center will help us continue to grow and improve the company's responsiveness to our existing base of close to 55 million customers, while preparing for future growth as we continue to expand our portfolio of products and services," said Jim McGean, president-Georgia/Alabama Region. "We have the most loyal customers in the wireless industry because of our outstanding network and customer service and we want to keep it that way. Verizon Wireless is growing to stay ahead of the increasing demand for the Verizon Wireless brand and to enhance our company's reputation for providing the nation's most reliable network."

"This new facility is an important component of our commitment to provide the best customer service in the industry," said McGean. "Huntsville and the State of Alabama have succeeded in creating an inviting business climate that persuaded Verizon Wireless to make a substantial commitment and investment here. We look forward to growing our business and succeed along with the people and the state of Alabama."

The City of Huntsville, Madison County Commission, Huntsville Utilities and Tennessee Valley Authority are providing site and infrastructure support. Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT)-- recently recognized as the best state-sponsored training program in the country-- will be working with Verizon Wireless to support recruitment and training.

"Verizon Wireless fits perfectly with the strategic growth plans charted by chamber leadership," noted Evans Quinlivan, member of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County executive committee. "A future-focused employer with solid employee packages is cause for celebration. We have enjoyed working with Verizon Wireless and look forward to supporting them in the long term."

In the state of Alabama, Verizon Wireless has invested more than $110 million over the past two years to expand and enhance its wireless network to stay ahead of the growing demand for its products and services across the state.

A Growing, Thriving Business Verizon Wireless is a growing, thriving business with five new state of the art customer service centers built within the last two years including new locations in Albuquerque, NM, Hanover, MD, Charleston, SC, Wilmington, NC and Chandler, AZ. Collectively, these centers employ over 6,300 employees. Additionally, customer service center expansions in Columbia, SC, Atlanta, GA, Southfield, MI and Dublin, OH collectively increased the employee base by more than 700 employees.

A Great Place to Work Verizon Wireless is consistently ranked as one of the best places to work in the country because of its employee-friendly policies. The company was named one of Working Mother magazine's "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" for the fifth consecutive year, has been named by Health magazine as one of 10 U.S. employers to best help women balance their professional and personal responsibilities, and has been named one of the nation's top 100 companies by Training magazine for its continued commitment to employee development in each of the last five years.

Verizon Wireless offers highly competitive compensation with salaries starting at $26,000 and up based on experience. Benefits include health care coverage that begins on the first day of employment, participation in the company's 401(k) program (dollar-for-dollar company match up to 6% of the employee's contribution), profit sharing, tuition reimbursement for continuing education, annual bonuses, and short-term and long-term incentive plans. Employees can also take advantage of numerous opportunities for career advancement. More detail about these job opportunities will be provided in the future.

About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 54.8 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at