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AARP Honors 15 Employers
as Best Companies for 50+ Workers

 

AARP today announced its selection of 15 "Best Companies for Workers over 50." This is the second annual Best Companies search by the non-profit organization.

"At a time of widespread reports of questionable corporate practices, these companies have shown a better side of business," said AARP President James Parkel, in announcing this year's honorees.

Parkel noted that Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show that while 13 percent of American workers today are 55 and older, that figure will increase to 20 percent by 2015.

 

At the same time, Parkel said, the nation is expected to experience a drop in the percentage of younger workers aged 25 to 44.

The 2002 Best Companies for Workers aged 50 and over are:

  • ABN AMRO North America, Inc. of Chicago.
  • Baptist Health South Florida, Coral Gables.
  • Prudential Financial Inc. of Newark, New Jersey.
  • Howard University, Washington, DC.
  • QUALCOMM, Inc. of San Diego, CA.
  • CALIBRE of Alexandria, VA.
  • The Stanley Group of Muscatine, Iowa.
  • New York Life Insurance Company of New York.
  • The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. of Hartford, CT.
  • Adecco Employment Service, Inc. of Melville, NY.
  • DaVita, Inc. of Torrance, CA.
  • Ultratech Stepper of San Jose, CA.
  • MITRETEK Systems, Inc. of Falls Church, VA.
  • The Aerospace Corporation of El Segundo, CA.
  • Principal Financial Group of Des Moines, Iowa.

 

AARP lauded each of the awardees for excelling in each of the categories that were evaluated. AARP's criteria for the awards include recruiting (including former or retired employees), corporate culture (career development and training), continued opportunities, compensation, benefits (including health insurance), and retirement.

In regard to benefits, for example, AARP said Baptist Health South Florida, the largest not-for-profit health care organization in South Florida, offers flextime, job sharing, telecommuting and compressed work schedules. On continued opportunities for career success, the corporation encourages mentoring, offering bonuses for experienced nurses who coach newer colleagues.

AARP President Parkel noted that the employers are a diverse group, ranging in size and operating from six states and the District of Columbia.

"AARP is delighted that so many companies stepped forward this year to undergo a tough evaluation of their policies toward 50 and over workers." Parkel said. "The honorees have innovative practices that should serve as an important yardstick for other employers."

The awardees will be saluted at a dinner Tuesday (September 24) in New York, with Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao among the featured speakers. This week is "Employ Older Workers Week."

The Best Companies announcement came in conjunction with the release of a national study, conducted for AARP by Roper ASW, to gain the views of workers age 45 to 74 toward their jobs, and to determine whether they plan to work into their retirement years.

The poll of 1,500 workers found that that more than three-quarters (76%) enjoy their job and that a large majority (69%) plan to work in some capacity in their retirement years. However, two-thirds of those interviewed said they believe that age discrimination is a fact of life in the workplace (See separate release.)

The twin announcements by AARP come at a time when demographic projections indicate a continuing decline in the percentage of younger workers while the number of 50 and over workers is expected to increase sharply.

Parkel noted that 50 plus employees will be crucial in filling a void in the economy in the decades ahead, and urged employers to use the findings of the survey and Best Companies search to help them reshape the workplace.

AARP initiated its exemplary practices search by inviting employers to outline their innovative policies toward 50 and over workers. An outside group of experts on aging workforce issues assisted in the development of criteria. A research consulting firm analyzed the individual applications and recommended the top choices. Companies with 50 or more employees were eligible to apply.

My Generation and AARP Modern Maturity will feature stories on the Best Companies in their November-December issues.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people 50 and over. It provides information and resources; advocates on legislative, consumer, and legal issues; assists members to serve their communities; and offers a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for its members. These benefits include AARP Webplace at www.aarp.org, Modern Maturity and My Generation magazines, the monthly AARP Bulletin, and Segunda Juventud, a quarterly, bilingual newspaper. Active in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP celebrates the attitude that age is just a number and life is what you make it.

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