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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

George Mason University

2009 Winner

Winning Years: 2009, 2008, 2007
Industry: Education
Location: Fairfax, Va.

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

This year marks George Mason University's third appearance on AARP's list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. Among other development and training opportunities, the university offers employees a Life Planning/Eldercare seminar series for employees interested in learning more about caring for elderly relatives, planning retirement, or aging in place.

The university also offers employees support groups and information on, and referral services for eldercare. Retirees of any age enjoy the same benefits as current employees, including individual and family long-term-care coverage. More than one-third of the university's workforce is age 50 or older.

Workplace Culture and Continued Opportunities:
George Mason University offers all full- and part-time employees training-related opportunities, including tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training, and certification classes. The university also holds departmental retreats for team-building, offers customized departmental training to improve communication and professionalism, and produces a health and fitness expo. Employees can also participate in a number of motivational, career development, tutoring, and networking events or programs at the university. Forty-three percent of all employees have participated in at least one of George Mason's training opportunities during the past year, at an average of four hours per employee spent in training.

Other development opportunities include Staff and Faculty Study Leave, which permits employees to take extended leave that is designed to help them hone their skills and competencies.

The university's Life Planning/Eldercare seminar series covers issues of interest to employees who care for elderly loved ones or for those planning their own transitions to post-retirement or aging-in-place lifestyles. The university is planning future sessions on other aging-related topics. Employees already can also take advantage of pre-retirement seminars, counseling, and classes in effectively investing for retirement.

George Mason recognizes its long-service employees with announcements, parties, awards, pins, certificates, and gifts for milestone anniversaries.

To respond to its employee survey, the university created referral services, seminars, and a support group for employees with eldercare responsibilities. Also as a result of the survey, George Mason offers annual financial-education workshops for mature workers to help them pre- and post-retirement.

Employees have opportunities to gain experience or job skills through team projects and cross-departmental collaboration.

George Mason has accommodated employees who require special workplace conditions, assistive technologies, and alternative-work schedules

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