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Jennings Center for Older Adults

Winner: 2008 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Winning years: 2008, 2007
Industry: Hospitals/Health care
Location: Garfield Heights, Ohio
2008 Rank: 22

Highlights of 2008 Winning Strategies

The Jennings Center for Older Adults leads a regional workforce-development project entitled REACH, for “Rewarding Education Through Advanced Careers in Health Care.” This formal career program assists staff members and new hires in pursuing education that will enable them to gain or sustain employment and to advance in their careers.

Jennings has an on-site wellness center with a dentist, an audiologist, an eye doctor, and a podiatrist, all of whom staff members can consult.

Additional Policies and Practices:

Recruiting: The Jennings Center for Older Adults uses placement agencies for older job-seekers to target mature workers and retirees. Jennings offers retirees part-time work opportunities upon retirement.

Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: Jennings offers full- and part-time employees the following learning and development programs: tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training, and certification classes. Employees must work at least eight hours a week to be eligible for the tuition- reimbursement program. During the past 12 months, 60 percent of Jennings employees participated in at least one of the training opportunities with an average of six hours spent in training.

Jennings celebrates long-service anniversaries with announcements, parties, and awards. Based on employee feedback, Jennings has made several improvements to policies and benefits: enhanced flexible scheduling with opportunities to work fewer, 12-hour shifts; an upgraded on-boarding process with additional training and mentors; a more developed goal-planning process; and new department training with a focus on building teams- and relationships through improved communication.

Jennings offers employees the opportunity to work on temporary assignments in other departments and on team projects. The Center’s “Sacred Art of Living and Dying” program provides new skills and tools to support the living and dying process. Jennings has also installed lift equipment to assist older staff members with lifting.
Benefits/Health: Full- and part-time employees working at least 21 hours per week receive individual and family medical coverage, individual and family prescription-drug coverage, and individual and family vision and dental insurance. Individual and family long-term care insurance and short- and long-term disability are offered to all employees (eligibility for both requires only one hour of work each week).

Health benefits for retirees under age 65 and 65+ include individual and spousal medical and drug coverage, individual and spousal vision and dental insurance, individual and spousal long-term care insurance, and individual and spousal life insurance or other death-benefit coverage. New hires are eligible for the benefits upon retirement. Jennings offers employees a flexible-spending account to assist in covering out-of-pocket health care costs.

Benefits/Financial: Jennings offers a 403(b) and a defined-benefit savings plan to its full- and part-time employees. Employees may choose to invest in lifecycle funds, and those age 50+ can make catch-up contributions to their 403(b) plans. Employees receive financial-planning information from the firm that administers their 403(b) plan, from external financial-planning experts, and from support services, which provide money matters and financial-planning training.

Jennings offers short-term time off without pay and long-term leaves of absence without pay to allow for caregiving. The following wellness programs are offered to full- and part-time employees: flu shots, health screenings, smoking-cessation programs, health club discounts, physical activity and exercise programs, weight loss programs, stress-management training, and massage therapy. Sixty-eight percent of Jennings employees have used at least one of its wellness benefits in the past 12 months.

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