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2011 Best Employers

Virginia Commonwealth University

Full-time employees can take classes at VCU for free

Winning Years: 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005
Industry: Education: Post-Secondary
Location: Richmond

Any faculty member who retires from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is automatically a member of the Retired Faculty Council, which meets several times throughout the year. They are also eligible for discounts through the VCU Bookstore, VCU computer accounts, and discounted rates are offered on Internet access, theatre, musical and athletic events on campus, and for the VCU Work-Life program. In addition, they are eligible to audit up to three courses a semester tuition-free.

See also: How the 2011 Best Employers winners were selected.

Additional Policies and Practices:

Recruiting: VCU uses senior placement agencies to target mature workers and retirees. In addition, the VCU Retirement Connection maintains information on eligible retirees who are available to fill temporary, short-term vacancies.
Workplace Culture / Continued Opportunities: Full- and part-time employees are offered learning and development programs such as in-house classroom training, online training and certification classes. Employees working 40 hours per week are also eligible for the tuition reimbursement benefit and tuition is waived for classes taken at VCU.

Examples of in-house courses offered to employees that are made available during work hours for free or at a minimal cost include "Exploring and Appreciating Diversity at VCU," "Managing Personal and Professional Change,", and the VCU Investment Education Series, which includes "Woman's Money and Woman's Future," "How to Develop an Investment Strategy," "Managing Investments" and "Achieving a Sound Retirement."  

Long-service anniversaries are celebrated with announcements, parties and awards.

Feedback from employees prompted VCU to partner with the VCU Medical Center Geriatric Services to establish programs to assist their aging workforce and employee caregivers. An eldercare support group meets monthly and dependents of VCU employees are eligible for on-site, adult day services.

Employees have opportunities to gain new experiences by working on team projects and on temporary assignments in other departments.

Ergonomic accommodations are made for employees such as providing desks with adjustable legs to allow for wheelchair access.
Benefits/Health: Employees working 20 or more hours per week are eligible for individual and family medical and prescription drug coverage, individual and family vision and dental insurance, individual and family long-term care insurance, as well as short- and long-term disability.

Health benefits for retirees include individual and spouse medical and drug coverage, individual and spouse dental and vision coverage, individual and spouse long term care insurance, as well as individual and spouse life insurance or other death benefit coverage. Pre-65 retirees also receive the benefit of the employee assistance program (EAP).

All of the above benefits are available to new hires upon retirement.

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs), and health savings accounts (HSAs) are available to assist in covering out-of-pocket health care costs. Retirees receive a health insurance credit based on years of service.

Next: Financial benefits and alternative work arrangements. >>

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