AARP Seeks Best Companies for Older Workers

As the economy continues to decline, mature workers are staying in the workforce longer and returning to the workforce in record numbers. AARP is looking to honor companies who are staying ahead of the curve with workplace practices and policies that appeal to workers aged 50 and over.

These companies are encouraged to apply for the annual AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 awards. With a Feb. 13, 2009, application deadline approaching, employers are urged to apply at www.aarp.org/bestemployers.

As more and more boomers turn 60, attracting and retaining skilled workers will become increasingly critical for employers seeking to retain a competitive edge. Estimates are that by 2016, one-third (34 percent) of the total U.S. workforce is expected to be age 50 or older, up from 28 percent in 2007.

The AARP Best Employers awards recognize innovative organizations that offer policies and practices that appeal to workers 50+, including flexible work options, training/learning opportunities, competitive health and retirement benefits, and age-neutral performance and appraisal systems. Now entering its ninth year, the AARP Best Employers search honored 50 employers last year, including Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (Chicago), Centers for New Horizons (Chicago), Centegra Health Systems (Crystal Lake),and Hanson Professional Services (Springfield).

"AARP recognizes that the future workforce will depend on 50+ workers," said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois Senior State Director. "That is why each year we honor companies that are industry leaders in establishing policies and practices that meet the needs of older workers."

Any employer with at least 50 employees and based in the United States is eligible to apply to the AARP "Best Employers for Workers Over 50" awards program. This includes for-profit companies, not-for-profit organizations, educational institutions and local, state, and federal government bodies.

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