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AARP and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Announce Top 50 Employers, Honor Winners Who Recognize Value of Older Workers

Chicago, Illinois – June 17,2013  National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world’s premiere medical research institution, has gained top honors in the 2013 search for the AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50. The Best Employers award program is cosponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

NIH, a federal agency based in Bethesda, MD, finished third in the last Best Employers search in 2011, and succeeds Scripps Health of Southern California, which headed the list in 2011 and is runner up this year.

Three other health care related organizations round out the top five: Atlantic Health System of Morristown, New Jersey (#3); the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (#4), and Mercy Health System of Janesville, WI (#5).

Announcement of the top 50 came jointly today by AARP and SHRM, which is cosponsoring the Best Employers program for the first time. SHRM is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. The winners will be honored tonight (June 17) at the SHRM annual conference in Chicago.

“AARP improves opportunities for older workers by spotlighting employers that have implemented programs that help retain, retrain, engage and recruit mature workers,” said Jean Setzfand, AARP’s Vice President for Financial Security. “These Best Employers know that recruiting and retaining 50-plus workers is smart business.”

“In short, they listen to the needs and wants of their older workers,” Setzfand added.

“Every organization needs to view its older workers as highly valuable assets and develop strategies to keep this enormous wealth of talent,” said SHRM President and CEO Henry G. (Hank) Jackson.  “It’s absolutely critical for organizations to embrace new ways to retain older workers, especially in the face of the coming wave of Boomer retirements.”

NIH, a four-time honoree in the Best Employers program, provides generous health benefits and a “Fit Plus Program” that strongly supports the needs of employees 50 and over who are beginning or maintaining a fitness program.  Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.

“We are delighted to have received this prestigious honor,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D.,Ph.D. “Our employees are our most valued resource, and we are pleased to be able to offer them a variety of alternative work arrangements such as flex-time, compressed work schedules, job sharing, telecommuting, and a formal phased retirement program.”

“Employees are also eligible for paid time off that is specifically designated for caregiving,” Dr. Collins added.  “These programs help our employees better manage their work/life balance.”

Scripps Health, based in San Diego, has demonstrated consistent leadership over the past decade, earning Best Employers honors eight times since 2004. Scripps offers a number of alternative work arrangements, including a phased retirement program. Employees have an opportunity to gain new experience by working on temporary assignments in other departments, on team projects, and by having access to formal job rotation and mentoring programs.

Scripps employees are able to take advantage of strong health benefits, and wellness-related benefits are used by more than two-thirds of the staff. Those benefits include flu shots, health screenings, health risk appraisals, smoking cessation programs, health club discounts, physical activity and weight loss programs, on-site massages, and stress management training.

The diversity of this year’s top finishers is shown by the fact that, in addition to a number of health care-related institutions, prominent educational institutions (e.g., Cornell University, #11 and George Mason University, #13), for-profit corporations (e.g. Michelin North America, #24 and Southern Company,#22), and small non-profits (e.g. YMCA of Greater Rochester, #6), are among the winners.

Among the first time winners this year are: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, #14; Southern Company,#22; Mountain States Health Alliance, #30; Swarthmore College, #34; Tufts Health Plan, #38; American University, #45; Perkins Coie LLP, #49, and CheapCaribbean.com, #50.

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 Best Employers this year will be profiled in the August-September issue of AARP The Magazine. Accompanying that salute will be a feature article that explores the strengths of older workers.

For a full list and for more information on the 2013 Best Employers, please go towww.aarp.org/bestemployers, which includes background on employers’ workforce practices and a description of the selection process. For more information on AARP’s resources for older workers, visitwww.aarp.org/workresources.

AARP and SHRM have partnered since 2010, working together to raise awareness on older worker issues and to provide resources and strategies to address these issues.  SHRM’s cosponsorship of the 2013 Best Employers award is one of several joint projects that are documented on the SHRM-AARP web page atwww.shrm.org/aarp.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a bilingual news source.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.


Dave Nathan
202-434-2598 | [email protected] | @AARPMedia

Julie Malveaux
703-535-6273 | [email protected]

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