Do You Know a Business that Does a Great Job Working with Senior Employees?

Nominations open for Age Forward employer recognition awards...

Do you know of a business that does an outstanding job of recruiting, engaging or retaining older workers? The 55 Plus Committee of the Cape and Islands Workforce Development Board wants to hear about it.

The Age Forward Employer Awards – an initiative of the Cape and Islands Workforce Development Board, Career Opportunities and Elder Services of Cape Cod & Islands will honor employers who recognize the value of older workers and maximize the potential of their workers as they age. This event is being co-sponsored by the Cape Cod Times.

By embracing their multigenerational workplace as an opportunity, these visionaries use innovation, flexibility and creative talent management to stay ahead. They also realize that hiring, retaining and using older workers strategically can solve a variety of pressing problems business owners face.

Customers, employees or business owners themselves are encouraged to nominate exemplary businesses for this new award. The initial nomination form is simple and accessible on-line at http://bit.ly/AFEAwards.

Nominees will be contacted by members of the awards selection committee for an in-depth interview. Winning businesses will be recognized in a short documentary feature film and at an awards ceremony at the Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis on Sept. 25.

The local labor market has been especially tight this year. But even as the unemployment rate continues to drop, there are qualified, talented people looking for suitable jobs. Older job seekers are frequently recognized for their dependability, loyalty and customer service skills. That’s why forward thinking employers are increasing seeking them out--sometimes luring them out of retirement. The Cape and Islands Workforce Development Board, Career Opportunities, and Elder Services of Cape Cod & Islands hope to recognize some of the innovative businesses that are ahead of the curve in adapting to the changing demographics in our local workforce.

People are living longer, and working longer, too. The Cape and Islands had 30,500 employed individuals over age 55 in 2010. That’s more than 30% of the workforce. Many will work well past traditional retirement age.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that labor force participation rate is expected to increase fastest for the oldest segments of the population—most notably, people ages 65 to 74 and 75 and older—through 2024. To stay fully staffed and successful, businesses here and across the country are experimenting with ways to attract and retain older workers by re-engineering job descriptions, investing in adaptive technologies, and modifying working conditions.  

“Hiring older workers is good business more than it being about goodwill,” explained Chris Richards, chair of the Cape and Islands Workforce Development Board. “Time and again, when we see businesses grow and thrive in the current economic climate it’s because they’ve adapted to our changing population.”  Through the new Age Forward Awards Program, the Board and its co-sponsors hope to gather a compendium of innovations and best practices that can breed even more success among area businesses.


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