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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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2009 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Jennings Center for Older Adults

Winning Years: 2009, 2008, 2007
Industry: Hospitals/Health care
Location: Garfield Heights, Ohio

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

In 2009, Jennings Center for Older Adults makes its third appearance on the AARP’s list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. By offering its employees a number of benefits to help with caregiving responsibilities and an on-site Wellness Center with a dentist, an audiologist, an eye doctor, and a podiatrist, Jennings has displayed its commitment to its staff both inside and outside the workplace. Thirty-six percent of Jennings employees are age 50+.

Recruiting: The Jennings Center for Older Adults employs placement agencies for older job seekers and calls on its large volunteer bank to target and recruit mature workers.

Workplace Culture and Continued Opportunities:  Jennings provides its full- and part-time employees many learning and professional-development opportunities. These opportunities take the shape of tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training, certification classes, and career-development workshops. During the past 12 months, 74 percent of Jennings employees took part in a development opportunity, with the average employee spending six hours in training.

The center celebrates employees' long-service anniversaries with announcements, awards, parties, and during the annual holiday celebration.

In order to help its staff build new skills, Jennings offers its employees the opportunity to take part in temporary job assignments, team projects, career coaching, and committee and task-group assignments. The center is also committed to helping its older employees deal with the physical demands of work by investing in lift equipment and in the Safe Movement Program. 

Benefits/Health:  Full- and part-time employees are eligible for individual and family medical and prescription-drug coverage, dental and vision coverage, long- term-care, and short- and long-term disability coverage. Retirees below or above age 65, and new hires (upon retirement) are eligible for individual and spousal medical and prescription coverage, dental and vision coverage, long-term-care insurance and death benefits. Employees may also take part in a flexible spending account (FSA), which enables them to use pre-tax dollars for medical expenses.

Benefits/Financial:  Jennings Center for Older Adults offers its employees a defined-benefit pension plan and a 403(b) retirement plan. Employees must work at least 25 hours per week to be eligible for the defined-benefit plan and 21 hours per week for the defined-contribution plan. The center automatically enters all eligible employees into the retirement plans. All eligible employees can invest in life-cycle funds and, if they are age 50+, make catch-up payments. The staff receives financial-planning information from the financial-services firm that manages the plan, from external financial-planning experts, through the monthly benefits meeting, and at the center's annual benefits fair.

To accommodate employees who have caregiving responsibilities, Jennings offers paid time off for caregiving and unpaid short- and long-term leave.

The center also offers its employees a number of wellness benefits, including flu shots, health screenings, discounts at local health clubs, exercise and weight-loss programs, health-risk appraisals, smoking-cessation programs, and stress-management training. Jennings also has an on-site Wellness Center, which has on staff a dentist, an audiologist, an eye doctor, a podiatrist, and a massage therapist.  Sixty-five percent of employees used at least one wellness benefit during the past 12 months.

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