The Age Friendly-Institute recently designated Massachusetts as a certified age-friendly employer, the first state government in the nation to earn this distinction. The “age-friendly” designation describes environments that promote access to services and opportunities for people as they age and that prioritize the inclusion and participation of older adults in all aspects of life.
Governor Charlie Baker made the announcement during his keynote address at the Age-Friendly Institute’s Revolutionize Conference at the Seaport Hotel. The governor’s address highlighted the innovative work being done in Massachusetts to support older adults, guided by the work of the governor’s Council to Address Aging, which marked its five-year anniversary this month.
“Since taking office, our administration has prioritized making Massachusetts a place where older adults can live and thrive, and today’s announcement represents another step in those efforts,” said Baker. “When we help older people continue to live, work, and volunteer in our communities, we all benefit from their energy, experience, and contributions. As an employer, the Commonwealth deeply values the contributions of older adults, and today’s designation affirms that approach. We thank the Age-Friendly Institute for this recognition.”
“As an employer, the Commonwealth benefits enormously from the contributions of older adults across our workforce, and our administration has taken an approach that is mindful of their value,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “This designation complements the continued work of the Governor’s Council to Address Aging, which continues to guide our work to make Massachusetts a truly welcoming place for older adults.”
The Age-Friendly Institute has been certifying leading age-friendly workplaces since 2005 in its effort to support job seekers that are over the age of 50. Employers designated as Certified Age-Friendly Employers meet several criteria:
- Values employees based on proficiency, qualifications, and contribution
- Maintains policies, practices, and programs supporting people over the age of 50
- Values employee knowledge, maturity, reliability and productivity
- Commits to meaningful employment, development opportunities, and competitive pay and benefits for employees over the age of 50
“It is an immense honor to be the first state afforded Certified Age-Friendly Employer status,” said Massachusetts Chief Human Resources Officer Jeffrey McCue. “The Commonwealth benefits from its richly diverse workforce and staff of all ages and experience, and we are thrilled to be recognized as an employer that supports security, work/life balance and personal development of our employees while delivering high quality services to the people of Massachusetts.”
“Congratulations to the Commonwealth for its leadership position in recognizing the importance of people being able to more easily work longer if they choose to,” said Timothy Driver, president of the Age-Friendly Institute and founder of RetirementJobs.com. “Employees staying in the workforce helps employers succeed and it keeps people engaged. If more states adapt to accommodate their aging workforces, they’ll keep their economies growing well into the future.”