AARP's 2009 Best Employers for Workers Over 50


This biennial recognition program honors companies and organizations who value the 50+ workforce.

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1. Cornell University

Winning Years: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

Industry: Education/Post-Secondary

Location: Ithaca, N.Y.

URL: www.cornell.edu

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies: In 2009, Cornell University marks its fifth straight year on the list of AARP's Best Employers for Workers Over 50. Job advancement at Cornell is formalized in the university's Qualified Employees Seeking Transfer, or "QUEST" program, which is a performance-based arrangement designed to help employees identify opportunities for internal transfers.


2. First Horizon National Corporation

Winning Years: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003

Industry: Financial Services

Location: Memphis, Tenn.

URL: www.firsthorizon.com

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies: Celebrating its seventh consecutive year on AARP's list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50, First Horizon emphasizes leadership and training for its employees. The company offers numerous leadership courses and encourages all employees to recognize their peers' accomplishments via the Firstpower Line program. First Horizon continuously uses feedback from workers to amend or create new benefits programs, including a vacation-donation program and parental leave.


3. National Institutes of Health

Winning Years: 2009, 2008

Industry: Federal Government

Location: Bethesda, Md.

URL: www.nih.gov

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies: This year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) makes a return appearance to the AARP Best Employers list after premiering in 2008.

The many benefits and opportunities available to employees through the NIH Recreation and Welfare Association have promoted an active workforce and an active retiree group. R&W supports more than 30 clubs, including photography, bicycling, and skiing, and administers volunteer activities, such as NIH Charities, Camp Fantastic, and Children's Inn.


4. The YMCA of Greater Rochester

Winning Years: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

Industry: Private – Nonprofit

Location: Rochester, N.Y.

URL: www.rochesterymca.org

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies: The YMCA of Greater Rochester is in its fifth straight year of making AARP's list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. Retirees have the opportunity to participate in a formal phased-retirement program while continuing to receive their pension benefits. Rehired retirees are also able to keep collecting payments from their retirement-savings plans. Retirees age 65+ receive all the same health benefits as their currently working counterparts and many of the same wellness benefits. The company also engages employees through its Mentoring Across Generations program.


5. National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

Winning Years: 2009, 2008

Industry: Not for Profit - Other

Location: Arlington, Va.

URL: www.nreca.coop

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies: This year, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) makes its second consecutive appearance on AARP's list of the Best Employers for Workers Over 50. NRECA offers employees a benefits package that includes perks like free preventive-care exams. Employees can also choose from a number of alternative-work arrangements, ranging from flextime to the ability to telework up to three days per week. Currently, 37 percent of NRECA's workforce is age 50+, with an average tenure of 11.8 years.


6. S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

Winning years: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

Industry: Industrial

Location: Racine, Wis.

URL: www.scjohnson.com

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies: This year marks S.C. Johnson & Son's fourth on AARP's annual list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. S.C. Johnson offers workers and retirees the same benefits and programs, which include a defined pension benefit plan and the S.C. Johnson JMBA Recreation and Fitness Center. This center offers health, wellness, and fitness programs and activities specifically or exclusively to retirees. The company actively maintains contact with retirees by communicating about events, celebrations, workshops, and temporary assignments. S.C. Johnson also formally recognizes retirees and employees for their contributions to the community.


7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Winning Years: 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2003

Industry: Education – Post-Secondary

Location: Cambridge, Mass.

URL: www.mit.edu

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies: This year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology makes its fifth appearance on AARP's list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. By creating a positive work environment through a generous benefits package, progressive programs such as MITemps, and internal-hiring practices, MIT has been able to foster growth in its employees and to maintain high levels of employee retention. Thirty-seven percent of MIT employees are ages 50 or older, with an average tenure of 15.9 years.


8. Stanley Consultants

Winning Years: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002

Industry: Consulting Services

Location: Muscatine, Iowa

URL: www.stanleyconsultants.com

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies: This year, Stanley Consulting makes its seventh appearance on the AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 list. By offering a generous benefits package and flexible work schedules, Stanley has been able to attract and retain mature workers.

The company's phased-retirement program has helped the organization maintain its skilled, mature labor force. About 75 percent of new retirees participate in the phased-retirement program during their first two years of retirement. Phased-retirement schedules are flexible and are determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the needs of the employee and the employer. Currently, just over one-third of employees are age 50+, with an average tenure of 15 years.


9. Brevard Public Schools

Winning Years: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

Industry: Education - Pre-secondary

Location: Viera, Fla.

URL: www.brevard.k12.fl.us

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies: As of 2008, 44 percent of Brevard Public Schools' workforce was age 50+. Brevard tries to retain its mature workers by offering them a number of alternative work arrangements, such as flextime and phased retirement. Brevard also actively works with its retirees to fill permanent and temporary positions in the schools. As of 2008, 494 retirees had used one of the schools' employment opportunities.


10. George Mason University

Winning Years: 2009, 2008, 2007

Industry: Education

Location: Fairfax, Va.

URL: www.gmu.edu

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies: This year marks George Mason University's third appearance on AARP's list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. Among other development and training opportunities, the university offers employees a Life Planning/Eldercare seminar series for employees interested in learning more about caring for elderly relatives, planning retirement, or aging in place.

The university also offers employees support groups and information on, and referral services for eldercare. Retirees of any age enjoy the same benefits as current employees, including individual and family long-term-care coverage. More than one-third of the university's workforce is age 50 or older.


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Diocletian

Ben, You are apparently uneducated about how insurance companies calculate risk and thereby determine premium levels. Actuaries and underwriters use highly sophisticated statistical calculations derived from scientifically-based information pertaining to human male and female biophysiology and mortality rates. The older one becomes the more likely one will develop illnesses, depending upon one's own health profile, and the closer one likely is to dying. Insurance companies must be fully free to discriminate on the basis of these facts so as to be able to assume risk at the right premium level that enables the company to make a profit, pay claims, and remain in business. Regulating insurance companies by forbidding them from charging different premiums for different age groups, or forcing them to provide coverage to someone regardless of pre-existing condtions, or other such non-objective restrictions treats insurance providers as if they were slaves, and ultimately will cause insurance companies to go bankrupt. It is perfectly just, and moral, and right for insurance companies to be free to determine whether and to what extent they will assume the risks involved in insuring anyone because the realities of the individual biological and mortal nature of human life, and the ability of insurance to continued to be offered in view if those realities require it. You claim to be in favor of free enterprise. If so, then educate yourself about free enterprise and insurance, rather than mindlessly parrot the malicious, ignorant assertions politicians utter against both.

June 04 2010 at 10:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristin

I am 59, and am working for NY State in Albany. I have great written and communication skills, and enjoy using Word, Access, Excel, and Power Point - and would love to learn more programs. I pay great attention to detail, and my resume reflects good career experiences. I am very dissatisfied with the State, as I have seen dishonesty and waste in several agencies, and don't fit in with those who are taking advantage of tax payer money. I am eligible for retirement, and would love to find a great position to help supplement my income. I thought of putting an ad on Craig's List, explaining my situation, but am not sure what the best source of advertisment would be. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated...

May 12 2010 at 12:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
STRATEGICITCONS

In reading through a lot of comments, it seems the consensus is that if you are over 50 you might as well forget about employment. In actuality while age discrimination exists, so do other forms of discrimination. The key to success is to sell yourself because believe it or not to some twenty and thirty-somethings, age is just a number! If you believe you are too old; guess what -- you are! If you are over 50, unemployed, have sales ability and genuinely looking for an opportunity while you are in transition, contact me and I can lead you to a great 1099 situation in most areas of the country, or potentially get you hired on a W2 basis in you happen to reside in MN! Company is a B-B financial institution and positions involve soft selling and client account management. There IS light at the end of the tunnel folks! (strategicitcons@aol.com)

May 11 2010 at 11:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
carol martin

Very interesting. I am 70(can`t believe it.). This article has given me some new ideas. I do have a couple min wage jobs in the future, also I`m working for an agency.

January 23 2010 at 6:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul

Once again I am unemployed for the first time in my life. I am 57 years old and I never thought age was an issue- Is it. Yes I think so. Idid something about it. Go to paulcoleman52@yahoo.com and I will get back to you.

November 07 2009 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul

I agree Iam also unemployed For the first time in my life Iam 57 years old I never though age was an issue is it Yes Tell this to mothers and sisters in the world.

November 06 2009 at 9:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John McKinney

AARP used to have credability with me. Since they decided nationalized healthcare was in my best interest I have dropped my membership and don't believe anything they have to say. They, like all other evil capitalist are in it for the money. They have sold everyone over 50 down the river for a quick buck. They may have sympathy but if there is someway they can make a buck off of us in our plight of unemployment, they will.

September 19 2009 at 9:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Perry Green

As an employer for over 40 years I would like to state that I would hire a person over 50 twice as fast as a younger person, as I have found they are more honest, will show up on time, and they understand that they are part of a company and not subject to being on their cell phones so much or having more excuses about things to do.

Companies that fail to hire older workers get reliability and respect from their new emplolyees. Older people have so many more "People" skills as well

September 18 2009 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joseph

I am blessed that at 71 I continue to get offers and work as a construction inspector. I have continuously worked in the private industry after retiring from my old job. I guess there are not that many qualified or quality inspectors out there.

September 18 2009 at 11:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joseph

I am blessed that at 71 I have several offers for a construction inspector job. I have continuously worked except for two months this year.

September 18 2009 at 11:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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