Employing a New Work Force in the United States: Home-based Agents with Disabilities; Internal Revenue Service Awards Call Center Services Contract to Disability Organization

GOLDEN, Colo. & BOSTON--()--Feb. 1, 2005--The National Telecommuting Institute, Inc. (www.nticentral.org), a nonprofit organization that specializes in developing telework opportunities for people with disabilities and Alpine Access, Inc. (www.alpineaccess.com), the leading provider of call center solutions using home-based agents, announced today that they have been chosen by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide call center services for citizens requesting IRS tax forms and publications by phone. The agents are trained and in position to handle the heavy load of 2004 tax return calls which begins this month and runs through April, 2005.

Using the Javits Wagner O'Day (JWOD) Act, the IRS has set-aside Forms and Publications Order operator jobs to be filled by people with disabilities who need to work from their homes. NTI coordinates with local state vocational rehabilitation centers to recruit home-based employees with disabilities, while technology made available by Alpine Access enables callers to the IRS' toll free number to be connected to the next available agent -- whether the agent is working from a cabin in Montana, or from an apartment in New York City. The job travels, not the individual with the disability.

National Telecommuting Institute, Inc. (NTI) is working with state vocational rehabilitation agencies from around the country to fill up to 500 seasonal positions and 80 year round jobs.

"Transportation is one of the biggest obstacles for people with physical disabilities," said M.J. Willard, director of NTI. "With Alpine's technology our employees can be trained, monitored, and supervised just as if they were 20 feet away even if they are 200 or 2,000 miles away."

"This is an extraordinary example of a collaboration involving a government agency, a commercial company and a non-profit organization. We are making jobs available to one of the most under-served populations in the country. Each organization brings its unique strength to the project to produce an innovative call center solution," said Reg Foster, CEO of Alpine Access.

About National Telecommuting Institute

National Telecommuting Institute, Inc. is a Boston-based non-profit organization which specializes in developing telework opportunities for people with disabilities who strongly prefer or require home based employment. Founded in 1995, NTI has worked with more than 60 private sector companies as well as federal agencies such as the Department of Labor, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and the Veteran's Administration to train and place individuals with disabilities into telework positions. NTI is funded by the Projects with Industry program at the Department of Education. For more information, visit www.nticentral.org.

About the Javits Wagner O'Day (JWOD) Act

The JWOD Act is administered by the President's Committee For Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled through NISH. JWOD/NISH supports non-profit organizations in obtaining federal government contracts to employ individuals who are blind or severely disabled. For more information, visit www.jwod.gov and www.nish.org.

About Alpine Access

Alpine Access, Inc. is the nation's leading provider of outsourced call center solutions through the exclusive use of home-based agents working over the Internet. This next-generation model significantly increases revenue per call offered, revenue per sale, rates of conversion and customer satisfaction. Customers include multi-channel catalogue and national mass market retailers, direct response TV marketers, and public sector agencies. Founded in 1998, Alpine has 4,000 home-based agents nationwide and has been named the #1 Fastest Growing Technology Company in Colorado over the past five years by Deloitte & Touche. For more information, visit www.alpineaccess.com.

Contacts

Stefanie Jones Public Relations, Inc.
Cori Keeton Pope, 303-282-4981
ckpope@sjonespr.com

Contacts

Stefanie Jones Public Relations, Inc.
Cori Keeton Pope, 303-282-4981
ckpope@sjonespr.com