An aging workforce and a large number of baby boomers mean more people than ever before are 50 and older and still active and interested in remaining part of the workforce. Fortunately, there are a number of companies that are eager to hire them. In fact, each year, AARP, the American Association of Retired People, recognizes the "best employers for workers over 50." The most recent top companies honored include Cornell University, First Horizon National Corporation, National Institutes of Health and the YMCA of Greater Rochester.
Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York, has topped the AARP best place for those 50 and older to work list for two years in a row. It received the award because of its commitment to staff and faculty -- more than 40 percent of staff and faculty is 50 and older. In its recognition of Cornell, AARP referenced the variety of health-related programs offered to faculty and staff of all ages, including both online and in-person health counseling. Cornell also offers a Wellness Program and Opportunities for Healthy Aging, specifically for older workers.
First Horizon National Corporation
First Horizon National Corporation in Memphis has been recognized for seven consecutive years as a "Best Employer for Workers Over 50." Most notable in its recognition is its offerings of many leadership courses to all employees, regardless of age, and the strong encouragement given for employees to recognize each other through a Firstpower Line program. To ensure diversity in age of employees, First Horizon uses placement agencies for older job seekers and its relationship with Senior Services of Memphis to locate and attract older workers.
National Institutes of Health
This year, the National Institutes of Health, NIH, makes a return appearance to the AARP Best Employers list after premiering in 2008. The NIH has promoted both an active older workforce and ensured strong and ongoing connections with retirees. The NIH Recreation and Welfare Association, R&W, supports more than 30 clubs representing employee areas of interest, from photography and bicycling to various charities. Retirees are kept involved through employment opportunities, on-site fitness memberships and events.
YMCA of Greater Rochester
The YMCA of Greater Rochester made a concerted effort to change its hiring practices to attract older workers. After all, the YMCA had already shown great success in attracting older members -- its program "Silver Sneakers" has brought in 10,000 new members since its inception in 2004. Looking for employees to match that growing member demographic, the YMCA of Greater Rochester changed work policies to appeal to older workers, adding flexibility and alternative work schedule, job sharing and part-time positions.