Who's the (best) boss? AARP seeks best companies for older workers

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With the economy in a recession and older workers staying in the workforce longer and many returning to work, AARP is looking for the best employers that those older people may want to work at.

Called the 2009 Best Employers Award, the group is looking for nominations to honor companies that are staying ahead of the curve with workplace practices and policies that appeal to workers 50 and older. The deadline is Feb. 13, 2009. The 2008 list is already out, with Cornell University topping the list of 50 companies.

Some of the qualities the group is looking for in top companies include recruiting practices, flexible work options, training and learning opportunities, competitive health and retirement benefits, and age-neutral performance and appraisal systems. Other employers honored in the past year include Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, LL Bean, Vanguard and Scripps Health.

AARP reports estimates that by 2016, 34% of the total U.S. workforce is expected to be age 50 or older, up from 28% in 2007.

"AARP recognizes that the future workforce will depend on 50-plus workers," Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois senior state director, said in a press release. "That is why each year we honor companies that are industry leaders in establishing policies and practices that meet the needs of older workers."

To apply, go to this Web site.

Aaron Crowe is an unemployed journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read about his job search at www.talesofanunemployeddad.blogspot.com

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