Older workers also fill all types of positions, ranging from the member-services desk, where they greet people, scan membership cards, and provide information, to lifeguarding. The 70+-year-old lifeguards at the Y, Cepero reported, are among the best the association has employed.
Besides filling jobs and strengthening its membership connection, the recruiting strategy also produced another benefit, something the organizations never considered.
"We're creating a culture of sharing across generations," said Cepero, adding that today, 25 percent, or 725 of its 2,900 employees, are age 50 or older. "There's a very high level of respect, interaction, teamwork, and camaraderie. All generations are actually learning from each other and working well together in our work environment."