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2013 AARP Best Employers

School Board of Brevard County

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Industry: Education: Post-secondary            Location: Viera, Fla.            Website: www.brevardschools.org

Winning Years: 2013, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

Highlights of 2013 Winning Strategies

School Board of Brevard County provides a vast array of wellness programs for its employees. Annual Wellness Expos are held; free Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services are available to provide counseling for issues related to aging, work, and caring for children, grandchildren and aging parents; on-site health coaches provide one-on-one health assessments; and employees receive discounted services at various Urgent Care facilities in the area.

Additional Policies and Practices

  • Recruiting: School Board of Brevard County uses its Retirement Office’s records, which contain information on its retired schoolteachers and principals, to fill short-term employment positions.

  • Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: School Board of Brevard County offers these learning and development programs: in-house classroom training, online training (must work 20-plus hours per week) and certification classes (must work 20-plus hours per week). Full-time employees are also offered a tuition reimbursement benefit. In a recent 12-month period, 100 percent of employees participated in at least one of the training opportunities with an average of seven hours spent in training. Long-service anniversaries are celebrated with announcements, parties and awards. An annual Retiree Day celebration is held to recognize retiring employees and awards are given to those employees with the most years of service. Employees have opportunities to gain new experiences by working on team projects, and by having access to formal mentoring programs. Examples of job accommodations offered include providing software for an employee with carpal tunnel syndrome, providing amplified audio equipment (telephones), modifying facilities to allow for improved handicapped access, providing large screen and large print computer monitors to assist the sight impaired, and providing custom furniture for those with physical limitations.

  • Benefits/Health: Employees working 26-plus hours per week are eligible for individual and family medical coverage, individual and family prescription drug coverage, individual and family vision and dental insurance, individual and family long-term care insurance, and short- and long-term disability. Health benefits for retirees pre-65 and 65-plus include individual and spouse medical and prescription drug coverage, individual and spouse vision and dental insurance, individual and spouse long-term care insurance, and individual and spouse life insurance or other death benefit coverage. New hires are eligible for all of these benefits upon retirement. Retirees are also offered mental health coverage. Flexible spending accounts (FSA) are offered to assist in covering out-of-pocket health care costs. The following wellness programs are offered to full- and part-time employees: flu shots, health screenings, health risk appraisals, smoking cessation programs, health club discounts, physical activity and weight loss programs, and stress management training. Seventy-nine percent of employees utilized at least one of these wellness benefits in a recent 12-month period. EAP services are available to full- and part-time employees as well as their family members. The EAP program now offers free legal and financial services.

  • Benefits/Financial: Retirement savings plans offered to employees working 15-plus hours per week include a 403(b) plan, a defined-benefit plan and a money-purchase defined contribution plan. Employees age 50-plus can make catch-up contributions to their plan. Staff members, staff from the financial services firm that administers the 403(b) plan, and external financial planning experts provide financial planning information and training to employees. Short- and long-term leaves of absence without pay are options offered to employees needing time off for caregiving. Employees working 20-plus hours per week are offered on-site child care for children and grandchildren, as well as referral services to assist with child care and eldercare.

  • Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: Compressed work schedules are offered to full-time employees working 40-plus hours per week. Flextime, telecommuting, job sharing and a formal phased retirement program are offered to employees working 20-plus hours per week. Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.

  • Opportunities for Retirees: School Board of Brevard County has 5,120 retirees and an individual directly responsible for retiree relations. The school system stays connected with its retirees by inviting retirees to organization events, by providing retirees with ongoing access to retirement planning workshops and information, and by formally acknowledging employees upon retirement. Work arrangements offered to retirees include temporary work assignments, consulting or contract work, and full- and part-time work.

  • Age of Workforce: Forty-seven percent of School Board of Brevard County employees are age 50-plus. The average tenure of employees age 50-plus is 13.8 years.

Also of Interest: More AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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