SBC: Bradley Tech Unveils State-of-the-Art SBC School of Communications

For information, contact:
Howard Riefs

$1 million grant from SBC Foundation launches new opportunities
for Milwaukee communication technology studies

MILWAUKEE, November 17, 2004 – The Greater Milwaukee Committee, Milwaukee Public School officials, community leaders, SBC executives, and administrators, teachers and students from the Lynde and Harry Bradley School of Technology and Trade (Bradley Tech) today dedicated the new SBC School of Communications.

The SBC School of Communications will support an education curriculum at Bradley Tech that gives talented, disadvantaged urban teens pre-professional training in the communications field. The School is made possible by a multi-year $1 million grant from the SBC Foundation, the philanthropic arm of SBC Communications, to the Greater Milwaukee Committee that was first announced in 2001. Today, SBC Wisconsin President Paul La Schiazza presented local officials with the final payment in the amount of $250,000.

“SBC Wisconsin is proud to join the Greater Milwaukee Committee, Bradley Tech and State Representative Pedro Colon in their efforts to bring increased educational opportunities to Milwaukee’s disadvantaged communities,” said La Schiazza.

Bradley Tech administrators said that of the 250 students expected to graduate in the spring of 2005, 100 are in the SBC School of Communications. The program’s curriculum enables students studying communications the opportunity to take new courses developed for information technology, electronic communications or multimedia design. The School operates with a lead administrator, a separate budget
and resources to meet the competency and project-based curriculum that is jointly developed by Bradley
Tech and SBC experts.

“Right now there’s a void in our schools for this type of comprehensive program,” said Edward Kovochich, principal at Bradley Tech. “These courses are designed to teach the communications and technological skills that companies are seeking. We want to be responsive to the needs of industry and generate talented graduates in the state, working for southeastern Wisconsin companies.”

The SBC School of Communications features actual PBX equipment to simulate central office switching technology, enabling students to learn firsthand about communications by operating this state-of-the-art technology. Bradley Tech is believed to be one of the only schools in the country to have installed an actual telephone circuit switch for use by students. SBC Wisconsin network technicians will train Bradley Tech teachers and students on how the telecommunications network operates.

La Schiazza noted that Representative Colon, who represents the area, has been a longtime supporter of educational initiatives at Bradley Tech.

“When companies and the schools work together, great things can happen,” said Representative Colon. This significant grant from the SBC Foundation will provide an opportunity for students to learn the skills and science behind communications, moving from being users of information technology to problem solvers of it.”

Bradley Tech’s corporate partnerships with area companies assist the school in facilitating technology training. In addition to SBC Wisconsin, Bradley Tech has partnerships with Harley-Davidson Motor Co., Hurt Electric, Pieper Power, Prism Technical, Rockwell Automation and We-Energies.

“SBC’s support of education is built on the belief that every child should have opportunities to succeed,” said La Schiazza. “The SBC School of Communications is a total learning environment that will provide Bradley Tech students with the tools they need to prepare them for lifelong success.”

The Greater Milwaukee Committee, a private sector civic organization whose mission is to contribute to the cultural and economic base of the Milwaukee Metropolitan area, recognizes the local impact of the SBC School of Communications.

“We regard the expansion of technology education as an opportunity for economic development,” said Dan Bader, chairman of the Greater Milwaukee Committee. “The SBC School of Communications is a critical thread in the fabric of the revitalization of the low-income Walker’s Point neighborhood. We expect that the School may prove to be as impactful for area residents and adults as it is for the attending students.”

Education is a primary funding area for the SBC Foundation. In 2003, the SBC Foundation provided nearly $18 million to support education initiatives across the nation. Since 1984, SBC Communications and the SBC Foundation have contributed more than $1 billion to nonprofit organizations and affiliates across the country.

The SBC Foundation is the charitable giving arm of SBC Communications Inc. The SBC Foundation supports efforts that enrich and strengthen diverse communities nationwide, particularly those with an emphasis on education and technology and those that benefit underserved populations. SBC Foundation-backed programs are designed to increase access to information technologies, broaden technology training and professional skills development, and effectively integrate new technologies to enhance education and economic development. The Foundation Center has consistently ranked the SBC Foundation among the nation’s top six corporate foundations. In 2002, the SBC Foundation launched SBC Excelerator, a multimillion dollar competitive grants program that funds nonprofit organizations in their efforts to digitally connect communities.

SBC Communications Inc. is a Fortune 50 company whose subsidiaries, operating under the SBC brand, provide a full range of voice, data, networking, e-business, directory publishing and advertising, and related services to businesses, consumers and other telecommunications providers. SBC holds a 60 percent ownership interest in Cingular Wireless, which serves more than 46 million wireless customers. SBC companies provide high-speed DSL Internet access lines to more American consumers than any other provider and are among the nation’s leading providers of Internet services. SBC companies also now offer satellite TV service. Additional information about SBC and SBC products and services is available at