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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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Frankford Candy & Chocolate Company

Winner: 2008 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Winning years: 2008, 2007
Industry: Food
Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
Website: www.frankfordcandy.com
2008 Rank: 29

Highlights of 2008 Winning Strategies

Frankford Candy & Chocolate Company offers unionized retirees a pool of money to draw on to help with medical expenses. Employees have opportunities to gain new experiences by working on temporary assignments in other departments, by cross-training, job shadowing, mentoring, and by working on team projects. Fifty-six percent of the company’s employees are age 50+. The average tenure of employees age 50+ is 22 years.

Additional Policies and Practices:

Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: Frankford offers full- and part-time employees the following learning and development programs: tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training, and certification classes. In the past 12 months, 3 percent of Frankford employees participated in at least one of the training opportunities with an average of 24 hours spent in training.

The company celebrates long-service anniversaries with announcements, parties, and awards. In response to employee requests, Frankford has made the following benefit enhancements: The company has improved its bereavement policy (including in-laws and other close family members); it no longer requires that employees return payment from the courts if serving on jury duty; and vacation days are front-loaded so that employees do not have to wait to accrue time off before they can take it.

Examples of Frankford’s job accommodations for employees in need include: flex-scheduling for employees who have special needs children or child-care issues and accommodating one employee with sleep apnea.
 
Benefits/Health: Employees working at least 20 hours a week receive individual and family medical and prescription-drug coverage, individual and family vision and dental insurance, individual and family long-term care insurance, and short- and long-term disability.

Retirees under 65 and age 65+ receive individual and spousal medical and prescription-drug coverage, individual and spousal vision and dental insurance, individual and spousal long-term care insurance, and an employee-assistance program. New hires are eligible for all of the benefits upon retirement.

Benefits/Financial: Frankford offers a 401(k) retirement-savings plan with an employer match, plus stock options, to its full- and part time employees. All new hires are automatically enrolled in the 401(k) plan, and employees 50 and older may make catch-up contributions. Employees receive financial-planning information from staff members, from the financial-services firm that administers the 401(k) plan, and from external financial-planning experts.

Employees are offered paid time off specifically designated for caregiving, short-term time off without pay, and long-term leaves of absence without pay for caregiving. The following wellness programs are offered to full- and part-time employees: flu shots, health screenings, health-risk appraisals, smoking-cessation programs, health club discounts, a health fair, and stress management training. Full-time employees are also offered physical activity and exercise programs. Frankford offers referral services to help both full- and part-time employees find daycare for children and eldercare.

Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: Flextime and job-sharing are alternative work arrangements offered to full- and part-time employees. In addition, full-time employees can telecommute. Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a temporary basis. 

Opportunities for Retirees: Frankford currently has 92 retirees and an employee directly responsible for retiree relations. The company stays connected with its retirees by communicating regularly, by inviting retirees to organization events and celebrations, and by formally acknowledging retirees when they retire. It offers retirees temporary work assignments, consulting and contract work, and full- or part-time work.

Age of Workforce: Fifty-six percent of the company’s employees are age 50+. The average tenure of employees age 50+ is 22 years.
 

 

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