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San Diego’s Scripps Health Tops Best Employer List

San Diego’s own Scripps Health, a major hospital and health care provider in Southern California, has been recognized as the top company in the 2011 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 program. This year, Scripps has succeeded Cornell University, which placed second this year, as 2011’s number one finisher in the decade-long program.

“Scripps Health, Cornell and other employers on the list consistently recognize the value of, and have demonstrated exemplary policies for older workers,” said Jean Setzfand, AARP’s Vice President for Financial Security, in announcing the winners. “These companies and institutions deserve to be honored after their years of progressive practices that both meet the needs of mature workers and benefit their organizations as well.”

Scripps Health, with five hospital campuses and nearly two dozen clinics and coastal medical center sites, has been honored by AARP seven times over the last decade. In addition to an array of alternative work arrangements such as flex-time, a phased retirement program, and a formal job rotation program, Scripps has a strong wellness program and generous health benefits for retirees under and over age 65.

In addition, the health system has designed a program that assists employers from age 50 to 70 as they move toward retirement. At the same time, Scripps maintains an on-going relationship with retirees to facilitate their return when temporary job opportunities develop.

“AARP is encouraged by these companies that have set a positive example and capitalized on the experience of working with older workers, especially given the difficult economy that has impacted employers and employees alike,” said Setzfand.

Any U.S.-based employer with at least 50 employees is eligible to apply for the Best Employers award. Candidates are vetted to ensure that practices meet the needs of mature workers. Key areas of consideration include: recruiting practices; opportunities for training, education and career development; workplace accommodations; alternative work options, such as flexible scheduling; job sharing and phased retirement; employee health and retirement benefits; and retiree work opportunities.

The top 10 Best Employers this year will be profiled in the November issue of AARP The Magazine. Accompanying that salute will be a feature article by Chris Gardner advising older job seekers and other workers on what they need to do to stay competitive in today’s difficult job market. Gardner, an entrepreneur and motivational speaker, is the author of “The Pursuit of Happyness” and is AARP’s Ambassador of Pursuit and Happyness.

The 50 winners—as well as 15 AARP International Best Employers—will be honored at a dinner Sept. 13 in Chicago.

See a full list and for more information on the 2011 Best Employers, which includes background on each employer’s workforce practices and a of the selection process.

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