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AARP Announces 2011 Best Employers for Workers Over 50; Scripps Health of San Diego Tops List

Cornell University, National Institutes of Health round out top three winners that recognize and value mature workers

September 7, 2011

AARP Media Relations

AARP Announces 2011 Best Employers for Workers Over 50; Scripps Health of San Diego Tops List

Cornell University, National Institutes of Health round out top three winners that recognize and value mature workers

Washington, DC – Scripps Health, a major hospital and health care provider in Southern California, has been recognized as the top company in the 2011 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 program. This year, Scripps has succeeded Cornell University, which placed second this year, as 2011’s number one finisher in the decade-long program.

Cornell joins other perennial top employers, National Institutes of Health (NIH) (#3) and First Horizon National Corporation of Memphis (#4), along with newcomer West Virginia University as fifth among the 50 honorees named today by AARP. The program completed its tenth awards designation since the 2001 launch.

“Scripps Health, Cornell and other employers on the list consistently recognize the value of, and have demonstrated exemplary policies for older workers,” said Jean Setzfand, AARP’s Vice President for Financial Security, in announcing the winners. “These companies and institutions deserve to be honored after their years of progressive practices that both meet the needs of mature workers and benefit their organizations as well.”

Scripps Health, with five hospital campuses and nearly two dozen clinics and coastal medical center sites, has been honored by AARP seven times over the last decade. In addition to an array of alternative work arrangements such as flex-time, a phased retirement program, and a formal job rotation program, Scripps has a strong wellness program and generous health benefits for retirees under and over age 65.

In addition, the health system has designed a program that assists employees from age 50 to 70 as they move toward retirement. At the same time, Scripps maintains an on-going relationship with retirees to facilitate their return when temporary job opportunities develop.

Cornell University, a six-time honoree by AARP, has a multi-pronged “Encore Cornell” program, which provides retirees with workforce opportunities in addition to enrichment activities and resources. “Encore Hire” and “Encore Volunteer” connect retirees with temporary employment and volunteer opportunities at the University and in the community. “Encore and More” provides retirees with information on resources, classes and events to support personal growth.

Finishing third, NIH offers broad health benefits and emphasizes financial education with pre-retirement classes and formal courses as part of a program that helps employees manage their finances at each stage in their careers. NIH participates in jobs fairs to seek out mature workers for openings.

“AARP is encouraged by these companies that have set a positive example and capitalized on the experience of working with older workers, especially given the difficult economy that has impacted employers and employees alike,” said Setzfand.

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.

The top 10 Best Employers this year will be profiled in the November issue of AARP The Magazine. Accompanying that salute will be a feature article by Chris Gardner advising older job seekers and other workers on what they need to do to stay competitive in today’s difficult job market. Gardner, an entrepreneur and motivational speaker, is the author of “The Pursuit of Happyness” and is AARP’s Ambassador of Pursuit and Happyness.
The 50 winners—as well as 15 AARP International Best Employers—will be honored at a dinner September 13 in Chicago.

For a full list and for more information on the 2011 Best Employers, please go to, which includes background on each employer’s workforce practices and a description of the selection process. For more information on AARP’s resources for older workers, visit

About AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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