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05/21/2004
Language, Cultural Needs of Incoming Tech Valley Employees Net Grant from Verizon Foundation To Hudson Valley's Workforce Development Institute

CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8072
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, May 21, 2004

Hudson Valley Community College's Workforce Development Institute this summer will conduct an extensive needs assessment of non-native speakers of English who are likely to move to the area through the Tech Valley initiative. The Verizon Foundation provided an $8,232 grant for the project.

The grant will be administered through the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation, which is an independent, not-for-profit corporation formed in 1983 to philanthropically support the college's mission.

The Workforce Development Institute, the community college's business training entity, will evaluate the language and cultural needs of those drawn to the Capital Region for technology jobs. In doing so, the Institute also will identify training resources, both at Hudson Valley and in the community, that can meet those needs.

The project will survey those non-native high-tech workers currently in the area, with an eye toward creating programs to help those who may come to the Capital Region in the future.

"This unique project will help the Capital Region prepare for the demands placed on it by the growing focus on high technology jobs," said Paul A. Crotty, president of Verizon New York. "The Verizon Foundation has a long history of assisting colleges and community organizations in pursuit of technological advancement. We are proud to help make this Hudson Valley effort possible."

"Hudson Valley Community College is ready and able to offer its training and expertise to help advancing the Tech Valley initiative," President Marco Silvestri said. "The ability to match our strengths with the needs of those coming into the area's growing high-tech careers is just one example of how Hudson Valley responds to the needs of the Capital Region."

The potential need for this training was identified by the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce.

"The Chamber's FAMtask initiative, which has engaged over 150 community and business leaders throughout the region, is aimed at identifying and addressing the needs of newcomers to the area," said Lyn Taylor, president of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce. "That effort will be enhanced by this project, and we applaud both the Verizon Foundation and Hudson Valley Community College for taking on this important task."

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 11,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training.

The Verizon Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, a Dow 30 company and one of the world's leading providers of communication services. In 2003, the foundation awarded more than 21,000 grants totaling about $70 million to charitable and nonprofit agencies that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, enriching communities through technology, and creating a skilled work force. 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 595,000 hours in their communities and provided $34.6 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

The Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce is a volunteer organization that works to improve business for its membership. It is a unique, centralized advocacy group comprised of over 2,700 businesses that know they will prosper and grow in a healthy business environment. For more information, visit www.ac-chamber.org.