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2013 AARP Best Employers

The YMCA of Greater Rochester


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Industry: Not for Profit: Philanthropic Organization          Location: Rochester, N.Y.         Website: 

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

Highlights of 2013 Winning Strategies

Preretirement seminars are offered to The YMCA of Greater Rochester employees and cover topics such as the importance of developing retirement goals, retirement income sources, health and long-term care insurance, and end-of-life estate planning. A formal mentoring program, "Mentoring Across Generations," helps employees understand the culture of the organization and gain expertise in specific disciplines.

Additional Policies and Practices

  • Recruiting: The YMCA of Greater Rochester uses senior placement agencies to target mature workers and retirees. The organization also partners with Lifespan, which is dedicated to helping older adults find a job in retirement.
  • Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: Full- and part-time employees are offered the following learning and development programs: in-house classroom training, online training, certification classes, regional training events and reimbursement of professional membership dues. Employees working 20-plus hours per week are eligible for tuition reimbursement. In a recent 12-month period, 75 percent of employees participated in at least one of the training opportunities with an average of 40 hours spent in training. Long-service anniversaries are celebrated with announcements and awards. Employees have opportunities to gain new experiences by working on temporary assignments in other departments, on team projects, and by having access to formal job rotation and mentoring programs. Accommodations are made for employees including providing specialized audio equipment (TTYs) for employees with audio impairment, handicapped accessible facilities, sign language interpreters, voice recognition software and ergonomic evaluations.
  • Benefits/Health: Employees working 25-plus hours per week receive individual and family medical and prescription drug coverage, individual and family vision and dental insurance, individual and family long-term care insurance, as well as short- and long-term disability. Health benefits for retirees pre-65 and retirees age 65-plus include individual and spouse medical and prescription drug coverage, individual and spouse vision and dental coverage, the services of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), as well as individual life insurance or other death benefit coverage. Individual and spouse long-term care insurance is also offered to retirees age 65-plus. New hires are eligible for all of the above benefits upon retirement. Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are available to assist in covering out-of-pocket health care costs. Full- and part-time employees are offered flu shots, health screenings, health risk appraisals, smoking cessation programs, health club discounts, physical activity and weight loss programs, the Live Strong Cancer Survivor Wellness program, the American Diabetes Association Diabetes Prevention program, as well as stress management training. One hundred percent of YMCA employees have 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.
  • Benefits/Financial:
    Employees working 20-plus hours per week and meeting eligibility requirements are offered a money-purchase defined contribution plan. All employees are eligible for a 403(b) plan. Employees age 50-plus may be eligible to make catch-up contributions to their plan and have the option of selecting an annuity. Employees are offered financial education from staff members and from the YMCA Retirement Fund staff, including Certified Retirement Coaches and Financial Planners. Short- and long-term leaves of absence without pay are offered to allow for caregiving. The YMCA offers on-site child care and grandchild care, and referral services to assist with child care and eldercare to all employees. Short- and long-term leaves of absence without pay are offered to allow for caregiving. The YMCA offers on-site child care and grandchild care, and referral services to assist with child care and eldercare to all employees.
  • Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: The following alternative work arrangements are offered to employees: flextime, compressed work schedules, job sharing, telecommuting, and a formal phased retirement program. Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.
  • Opportunities for Retirees: The YMCA has 41 retirees and an individual directly responsible for retiree relations. The organization stays connected to its retirees by communicating with them on a regular basis, inviting retirees to organization events, providing ongoing access to retirement planning workshops and information, and by formally acknowledging retirees when they retire. Retirees are offered the following work opportunities: temporary work assignments, consulting or contract work, telecommuting, full-time work and part-time work.

  • Age of Workforce: Twenty percent of the YMCA employees are age 50-plus. The average tenure of employees age 50-plus is eight years.

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

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