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Press Release

Independence Blue Cross Recognized as Area Leader for Student Workforce Development

Philadelphia, PA - May 7, 2009 - Providing work opportunities and career development for students has long been a part of Independence Blue Cross's social mission, and today the company was recognized for those contributions with the Governor's Achievement Award, presented at the 25th Annual Pennsylvania Partners Employment, Training, and Education Conference in Hershey, PA. The conference is one of the nation's longest-running meetings of its kind focused on workforce development.

The Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board, an employer-led body that oversees workforce development policy in Philadelphia, nominated Independence Blue Cross (IBC), citing the company's investment in several programs that put students to work, and increase their career awareness and future employability.

In partnership with WorkReady Philadelphia, the city's initiative for helping youth find work opportunities, IBC has invested in the futures of more than 500 students since 2003. This includes paid summer internships for high school students; Shadowing Day, which exposes 9th graders to various careers, and Business Mentoring Youth, an after-school, work-based mentoring program for 10th graders.

"The business community has the ability and, even more, the responsibility to offer our young people a helping hand, and to assist them in developing useful business and interpersonal skills, and the self-confidence they'll need to succeed as adults," said Joseph A. Frick, Independence Blue Cross president and chief executive officer. "We're pleased to be able to provide a variety of work and mentoring opportunities for our city's youth, to nurture them, and hopefully encourage them to stay and work in our region after they finish high school."

As chair of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Frick helped engage and rally the business community around the WorkReady program. During his tenure, employer-paid internships nearly tripled from 400 jobs to more than 1,500, and the program continues to be a dynamic and essential part of the city's workforce development efforts.

About WorkReady

WorkReady Philadelphia, www.workreadyphila.org, is the City's system to prepare 14-to 21-year-old youth to become a highly-skilled 21st century workforce for the City and region. WorkReady coordinates the City's existing youth employment programs, and also seeks to expand the number of high-quality experiences available for Philadelphia young people.

About Independence Blue Cross

Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. IBC and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.4 million people. For more than 70 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.

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