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AARP: Cornell Heads 2009 Best Employers For Workers Over 50

Finishing second, First Horizon National Corporation, parent company of First Tennessee Bank and FTN Financial, is a major financial services company that has instituted forward-thinking policies toward aged 50 and over workers that include phased retirement, job sharing, telecommuting and wellness programs. One employee relations manager focuses entirely on the needs of retirees and employees approaching retirement. Those nearing retirement are offered individual counseling on various retirement financial scenarios. Interested retirees are given the opportunity to return to the company to take short or long-term positions.

The National Institutes of Health, the federal agency based in Bethesda, MD, provides many wellness programs, including a fitness center and classes centering on issues such as stress management and smoking cessation. One indicator of NIH’s relationship with its aged 50 and over workers is that, on average, its scientific staff continues to work at the agency more than seven years beyond the date they are eligible to retire. The comparable figure for administrative staff also is impressive: on average, they continue to work more than four years beyond their retirement date.

Besides Intel, other honorees include such major corporations as S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. of Racine, WI (#6); Adecco Group North America of Melville, NY (#20); Avis Budget Car Rental, LLC of Parsippany, NJ (#35) and Michelin North America of Greenville, SC, (#37).

A separate hospitals and health care Best Employers honor roll has been established by AARP for the first time this year. (See separate release at www.aarp.org/bestemployers.) Russell said that AARP decided to set up a separate category in order to acknowledge efforts in the health care field to creatively deal with shortages in qualified workers that have faced the health care industry for years.

In addition, the AARP International Innovative Employer Awards, recognizing 10 organizations for their innovative workplace policies, will be announced September 21. The 2009 winners represent four countries and a wide range of industries.

Any U.S.-based employer with at least 50 employees is eligible to apply for the Best Employers award. Candidates are vetted to ensure that practices meet the needs of mature workers. Key areas of consideration include: recruiting practices, opportunities for training, education and career development; workplace accommodations; alternative work options, such as flexible scheduling, job sharing, and phased retirement; employee health and retirement benefits and retiree work opportunities.

AARP The Magazine will feature the 2009 Best Employers in its November-December issue, available in homes September 24. The article will be found online then at AARP.org/ATM.

For more information on the 2009 Best Employers, please go to AARP.org/BestEmployers.

Included is background on each employer’s workforce practices and a description of the selection process.

2009 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

  1. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  2. First Horizon National Corporation, Memphis, TN
  3. National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
  4. The YMCA of Greater Rochester, Rochester, NY
  5. National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Arlington, VA

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