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Four Massachusetts Employers Are Best

Four employers from Massachusetts have been named as 2011 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50, including first-time recipient the University of Massachusetts Medical School, of Worcester.

Also making this year’s AARP grade are DentaQuest, Charlestown; Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. They join a diverse group of 50 forward-thinking employers recognized by AARP for demonstrating that enlightened policies toward 50-plus employees make good business sense.

A demographic imperative

Even as workers and employers continue to struggle in tough economic times, one fact remains: By 2012, almost one in five Bay State workers will be at least age 55. At the same time, the pool of younger, replacement workers will be smaller than previous generations and may not be sufficient to meet employer needs. As employers face the generational shift in their workforce, it’s in their best interest to keep 50-plus workers on the job. Employers who prepare today have the potential to be more competitive tomorrow.

Key drivers of the Massachusetts economy

The Bay State employers recognized this year by AARP illustrate two employment sectors that help drive the Massachusetts economy, and will likely be first and hardest hit by the aging workforce: health care and education. These sectors have encouraged long service, have had relatively little hiring in recent years, and/or major downsizing in the 1980s and 1990s.

“AARP’s Best Employers recognize the importance of innovative policies – such as flexible work schedules, professional development, job sharing and redesign, good health benefits and opportunities to save for retirement – as they work to retain and recruit experienced workers,” explains Deborah Banda, state director, AARP Massachusetts. “In developing and instituting these policies and practices, AARP’s Best Employers continue to chart the course for other employers to follow.”

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