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AARP: Cornell Heads 2009 Best Employers For Workers Over 50


September 9, 2009


Dave Nathan



First Horizon (TN), National Institutes of Health, Intel Honored as Applications Set Record

Washington, DC—Cornell University, long recognized as one of the nation’s top academic institutions, is the first two-time top finisher in the history of the AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 program.

Cornell, located in Ithaca, New York, topped an impressive list of 50 honorees announced today by AARP. Cornell won last year as well. The diverse group of honorees this year also includes such varied employers as First Horizon National Corporation, a major financial services company based in Memphis (#2), the National Institutes of Health (#3), and computer giant Intel Corporation (#44).

“AARP is delighted that Cornell has placed first for the second year in a row in the Best Employers program,” said Deborah Russell, AARP’s Director of Workforce Issues. “The university is famed for its creative academic policies and its approach to 50 and over workers is no different. It has continued to innovate with new programs in the past year.”

Cornell University President David J. Skorton responded to the announcement of the award, saying: “We at Cornell are honored to be recognized again by AARP as the nation’s top employer for workers aged 50 and over.” Skorton added: “Earning this recognition for a second consecutive year affirms our collective efforts in making Cornell a caring and inclusive community for people to work, study, create and discover.”

More than 200 employers applied for Best Employers honors, the highest total in the nine year history of the program designed to highlight exemplary policies toward aged 50 and over workers.

Cornell offers a variety of progressive policies toward aged 50 and over employees, including a formal phased retirement program for faculty and staff, telecommuting and compressed work weeks, a retiree health and prescription drug plan heavily subsidized by the university, paid time off for care giving, and access for retirees to continued university education at no charge. The wellness program includes nutrition and fitness classes, as well as access to several campus fitness centers, swimming pools and a skating rink.

The university is continuing to innovate, currently setting up an “Encore Cornell” program that, among other things, will enable retirees to volunteer for short-term or other campus jobs, as well as assisting retired faculty and staff in obtaining paid positions around the country. A web site aimed specifically at university retirees is being set up to provide a variety of resources, including quality of life tips. The Cornell Retirees Association, which has been primarily Ithaca-based, is expanding to take a more national approach. For example, the Association will soon assist retirees in Florida who wish to volunteer in local schools there.

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