It's easy being "gray" at Swarthmore and AARP has taken notice with its 2013 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 award, co-sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management. This honor recognizes the College's support for all of its staff members, especially those who have reached (and surpassed) the half-century mark.
"With 49 percent of Swarthmore staff members aged 50-plus, with an average tenure of 16 years, the College is proud that AARP has recognized our commitment to these employees by including us in its list of the Best Employers for Workers Over 50," said Pamela Prescod-Caesar, vice president of human resources. "AARP noted that Swarthmore supports its mature staff in a variety of ways, including with engaging wellness workshops as well as ongoing access to our fitness facilities."
Since its inception in 2001, the Best Employers program has recognized that a growing number of U.S. employers are developing progressive policies and practices that are meeting the needs of an aging workforce.
The organizations awarded this honor submitted a comprehensive application that included information about their human resources practices and policies, which were not required to benefit older employees exclusively because policies that are good for mature workers are often beneficial for all. A panel of judges reviewed the applications and their opinions, together with the initial rating, formed each applicant's final rating, determining the top 50 list.
In honoring Swarthmore, AARP noted that long-service anniversaries are celebrated and that staff feedback prompted the College to enhance its wellness programs with the addition of knee replacement and long-term care insurance sessions as well as biometric screenings.
Even after staff members retire, the connection to Swarthmore remains strong with an individual directly responsible for retiree relations.
"No matter where staff are in their working life with the College, we want to support them in all of their endeavors - from improving wellness to learning the latest technology," adds Prescod-Caesar. "Swarthmore values everyone's contributions during and after their service to the College and it's nice for AARP to acknowledge that."