UMMS honored as best employer for mature workers

AARP presents national Best Employers for Workers Over 50 Awards

By Mark Shelton

UMass Medical School Communications

September 07, 2011

UMass Medical School has been commended as one of the best places in the country to work for mature workers. UMMS will be honored at the AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 Award program, which will be held in Chicago Sept. 13 and 14. UMMS was ranked 34 out of the 50 awardees nationally.

Read about the award in today’s Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

“We consider our mature workers to be a valuable asset toward our future growth and success,” said Patricia Keith, academic administrator in the Program in Gene Function and Expression at UMMS and chair of the Mature Workforce Committee at UMMS, who led the application process. “In response to a maturing workforce at UMass Medical School, the Mature Workforce Committee was formed to represent and advance the needs of the mature worker by identifying issues and concerns and developing resources and programs to support and retain the mature worker. We are honored to be recognized by AARP.”

The AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 program awards businesses and organizations that have implemented new and innovative policies and best practices in talent management. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the program is designed to share best practices with the business community at large and to promote employment opportunities for older workers. This year AARP received applications from a variety of employers in the non-profit, for-profit and government sectors.

“At a time when the percentage of workers age 25 to 44 is declining, older adults are a more important component of America's workforce than ever before—a fact that smart companies are well aware of,” said an AARP spokesperson in making the award announcement. “By recognizing the AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50, AARP encourages all employers to create a mutually beneficial work environment that values the potential of these workers.”

All employers with a total of at least 50 employees in the United States are eligible to apply for the award; factors such as organization size and industry are taken into consideration when evaluating the applications. Because policies that are good for mature workers are often beneficial for all workers, employers are not required to have programs dedicated exclusively to mature workers. However, employers who can demonstrate that their programs are particularly valued by mature workers receive credit for that through the evaluation process.

“UMass Medical School and other selected employers have demonstrated exemplary practices with regard to recruitment, retention and promotion of older workers. Moreover, you have created and fostered a workplace that is supportive of the contributions older workers offer to the business community. We commend your company for creating an age-diverse workplace and proudly add UMass Medical School to the list of this year’s honorees,” said A. Barry Rand, chief executive officer of AARP.

AARP’s magazine will feature the Best Employers in its November–December issue.

“UMass Medical School values the contributions of the mature worker to a diverse and inclusive community, and is committed to recruiting, hiring, developing and supporting these experienced members of our workforce,” said Deborah Plummer, PhD, associate vice chancellor for diversity and equal opportunity. “Overall, workers over 50 represent 34 percent of the 5,684 total faculty and staff, and they are vital to supporting the institution’s mission.”

Related link:

Worcester Telegram & Gazette: UMass Medical makes AARP top 50 list