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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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Centers for New Horizons

Winner: 2008 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Winning Years: 2008, 2007
Industry: Constituency or Community Services and Programs
Location: Chicago
Website: www.cnh.org
2008 Rank: 48

Highlights of 2008 Winning Strategies

Thirty-two percent of the employees at Centers for New Horizons are age 50+. The average tenure of employees age 50+ is 12 years.

Additional Policies and Practices:

Recruiting: Centers for New Horizons uses placement agencies for older job-seekers to target mature workers and retirees.

Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: Centers for New Horizons offers the following learning and development programs to employees working at least 20 hours per week: in-house classroom training, online training, and certification classes. During the past 12 months, 100 percent of the organization’s employees have participated in at least one of the company’s training opportunities, with an average of 25 hours spent in training.

The Centers celebrate long-service anniversaries with announcements and awards. Employees gain new experiences by cross-training, by working on temporary assignments in other departments, and by completing team projects. Mature employees also serve on advisory committees.

One example of a workplace accommodation was the adjustment made for an employee who broke her foot. She received a job reassignment so that she could continue employment.

Benefits/Health: Employees working at least 25 hours a week receive individual and family medical coverage, individual and family prescription-drug coverage, individual and family vision and dental insurance, and short- and long-term disability. The organization also offers a flexible-spending account to employees to help them meet out-of-pocket health care costs.

Benefits/Financial: Centers for New Horizons offers a 401(k) plan with an employer match and a defined-benefit plan to its full-time employees. Employees receive financial-planning information from external experts not associated with the 401(k) plan.

In addition, financial training is offered on topics such as first-time home-buying, budgeting, and retirement options.

Full- and part-time employees can participate in the following wellness programs: flu shots, health screenings, health-risk appraisals, smoking cessation programs, health club discounts, physical activity and exercise programs, weight loss programs, and stress-management training. Fifty percent of employees have used at least one of the Centers wellness benefits during the past 12 months. On-site care for children and grandchildren and referral services to help employees find care for children or grandchildren—both are available to full- and part-time employees.

Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: Centers for New Horizons offers full- and part-time employees alternative work options, such as flextime and telecommuting. Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.

Opportunities for Retirees: Centers for New Horizons currently has 15 retirees and has an employee directly responsible for retiree relations. The organization stays connected with retirees by communicating regularly, by inviting retirees to organization events and celebrations, by providing retirees with ongoing access to retirement planning workshops and information, and by formally acknowledging them when they retire. Centers for New Horizons offers retirees temporary work assignments, consulting and contract work, telecommuting, and full- and part-time work.

Age of Workforce: Thirty-two percent of Centers for New Horizons employees are 50+. The average tenure of employees age 50+ is 12 years.

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