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10/03/2005
Pioneering Business/Higher Education Partnership Celebrates Tenth Anniversary at Hudson Valley Community College

CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8072
FOR RELEASE: Monday, October 3, 2005

One of the Capital Region's first formalized business/education partnerships is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

The Verizon Next Step Program, which began as a pilot project in 1995 at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, provides qualified Verizon associates the opportunity to obtain an associate's degree in telecommunications technology by attending classes one day a week for eight semesters.

Program participants are given a laptop computer, and attendance at the college is considered a Verizon workday. Verizon pays for tuition, college fees and class materials.

The Communication Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) are partners in Next Step, along with Verizon and the member colleges in the Next Step consortium.

Hudson Valley Community College is the lead college for managing the Next Step Program throughout New York State. There are 24 colleges across New York and New England that participate in the education program, which has won numerous accolades during its 10-year existence, including the 2003 New York Community College Trustees Business/Industry Partnership Award.

Through the spring 2005 semester, the program has graduated more than 2,500 Verizon associates.

"The Next Step Program has become a model for how community colleges can partner with industry to create a better trained workforce," Hudson Valley Community College President Andrew J. Matonak, Ed.D. said.

About Hudson Valley Community College
Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 60 degree and certificate programs in four schools: 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 12,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 60,000 alumni.

About Verizon
With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 214,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom provides customers based in 28 states with wireline and other telecommunications services, including broadband. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 47.4 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.