One of the key qualities that the winners share is flexibility, which includes offering part-time and full-time positions, varied workday schedules, telecommuting, on-site child (and grandchild) care, labor union membership and the ability to shape positions to fit skills and schedules. Employers that accommodated the schedules, commutes and other needs of their workers were more effective at recruiting, hiring, utilizing and retaining employees. As a result, some BreakThrough Award winners report lower turnover rates and less absenteeism for employees over 50 compared with younger counterparts. Other winners report that older workers--because of fuller life experiences - are often better at handling crises and interpersonal issues.The winners were Allied Coordinated Transportation Services, Inc. (Lawrence County, PA)--using drivers over age 50 for door-to-door transportation services for older adults, the sick and disabled, and children whose mothers are in welfare-to-work programs; Leesburg Regional Medical Center and The Villages Regional Hospital (Leesburg, FL)--following five years of a recruitment and retention program aimed at those over 50, nearly half of their employees are over 50; Mature Worker Connection, a program of the Pima Council on Aging (Pima County, AZ)--offering free job placement services for people over 50; Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass, Inc. (Lexington, KY)--paying ombudsmen aged 50 to 80-something to help with just about everything (dealing with family members and lawyers, advocating for better care, running personal errands and spending time with residents); Older Workers Leading Success, a program of Cleveland Metroparks (Cleveland, OH)--recruiting older workers for part-time and seasonal positions inside the agency's offices and outside at hiking trails, the zoo, golf courses and for winter sports; Rainbow Intergenerational Child Care Program, a program of the Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers of Dade County (Miami, FL)--employing 30 workers over 50 who share traditions from their native land with the preschoolers from that same background; ReServe, Inc. (New York, NY)--source of skilled employees over 50 for dozens of New York City nonprofits and city agencies; Retiree Work Opportunities Program, The University of California, Berkeley Retirement Center (Berkeley, CA)--connecting former staff to current short-term or part-time openings; Troops to Teachers (Washington, D.C.)--a small federal program helping 10,000 eligible military veterans become public school teachers in high-needs schools; The YMCA of Greater Rochester (Rochester, NY)--recruiting older employees to match their changing demographic.
Source: Civic Ventures News Release (May 31, 2007)
Additional Sources: The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle "
YMCA honored for treatment of older workers" (June 2, 2007)