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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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City of Glendale, Arizona

Winner: 2009 Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Winning Years: 2009
Industry: Government-City
Location: Glendale, Ariz.
Website: www.glendaleaz.com

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

This year, the City of Glendale makes its first appearance on the AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 list. With programs like “2 Young 2 Retire” and built-in stability bonuses, the city seeks to make its mature workers and retirees feel valued.

The “2 Young 2 Retire” program encourages mature employees to explore personal, vocational, and volunteer opportunities for the next phase of life. The city also provides a “stability bonus” of about $800 a year to each employee who began working for the city before 1993. About one-third of Glendale’s non-public-safety employees receive this longevity pay. Twenty-nine percent of Glendale employees are age 50+.

Recruiting: The City of Glendale uses placement agencies for older job-seekers and advertisements in industry-specific publications and journals to target and attract mature workers.

Workplace Culture and Continued Opportunities: The City of Glendale offers the following learning and development opportunities to its full- and part-time employees: in-house classroom training, on-line training, certification classes, career counseling, and a formal job-shadowing program. Full-time employees working at least 40 hours per week are also eligible for tuition reimbursement. Over the past year, 100 percent of employees took part in at lease one development opportunity, with an average of 33 hours spent in training.

The city celebrates long-service anniversaries with departmental announcements, parties, awards, gifts, and paid time off.

The city also offers its employees a number of workplace-development opportunities, such as team projects, temporary assignments in other departments, a formal job-rotation program, and opportunities to work on special temporary projects. Glendale is also committed to meeting the needs of employees with disabilities by installing ergonomic enhancements in the worksite, providing access to audio and visual enhancements, and modifying people’s job assignments. 

Benefits/Health: The City of Glendale offers its full- and part-time employees the following health benefits: individual and family medical, prescription drug, vision, dental, and long-term care insurance. Employees also have short- and long-term disability coverage. All benefits are available to employees working at least 20 hours per week.

Retirees under 65, those age 65+, and new hires upon retirement are eligible for individual and spousal medical and prescription drug coverage, vision and dental coverage, long-term-care insurance, access to an employment assistance program and individual life insurance. Employees also have access to health savings accounts (HSA) and flexible spending accounts (FSA).

Benefits/Financial: Glendale offers its part- and full-time employees working 20 hours per week a defined-benefit retirement plan and a voluntary 457 deferred-compensation plan. The deferred-compensation plan allows workers age 50+ to make catch-up payments. Staff and representatives of the two financial-service agencies that manage the city’s pension plans help employees with financial-planning information.  

In order to accommodate people who have caregiving responsibilities, the city offers employees unpaid short-and long-term leave.  The following wellness benefits are offered to full- and part-time employees: flu shots, health screenings, health-risk appraisals, smoking-cessation programs, weight-loss and exercise programs, discounts at local health clubs, and stress-management training. During the past year, 52 percent of employees took part in at least one wellness benefit. The City of Glendale also offers its employees referral services for child care and eldercare.

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