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HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. – A national AARP Staying Ahead of the Curve survey finding that workers 45 and older expect to continue working in some capacity beyond the typical retirement age, is not news to People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union. For the past few years the $146 million credit union has participated in the Maturity Works Job Fair, which targets the over-40 workers looking for jobs. PAFCU Senior Marketing Manager Lisa Canari says the age of staffers here range from the late teens to 60 years-old,and the mix makes for a great balanced workforce. “We have a pretty even ratio of young to old and they all work together in different departments,” said Canari. “We do provide information sessions that the training department puts together and on a monthly basis we send employees to be trained on different skill sets or promotions.” According to experts the credit union may be ahead of the game, as many believe that now is the time for employers to tap the more “mature” market. According to the survey while 13% of American workers today are 55 or older, that figure will rise to 20% by 2015. At the same time, the pool of workers ages 25 to 44 is expected to shrink. As the market for this workforce increases the more outplacement firms such as ExperienceWorks!, Maturity Works, and Operation ABLE will continue to grow and offer services to keep the “mature” workforce’s skills current. “If the economy continues to grow, the desirability of keeping older people on the job is going to rise and employers in theory should reach out to them more so than they are today,” said AARP Director John Rother. The survey finds that this largely untapped workforce can be separated into the following four key segments: * Contributors- this group lives to work and tends to be better educated and affluent. In addition this group is the most likely to be engaged and satisfied with their work. Feeling useful and making a contribution to society-not money- is what motivates them. * Sustainers- comprising the largest segment of the 45+ workforce say they work to live. Ninety-one percent cite money as a major factor in their decision to work. * Providers- these workers are in the middle, they are particularly apt to be seeking balance between their work and personal life. The central role of work in their lives is to help them provide for others and many are sandwiched between the needs of their children and those of their aging parents. Men and Hispanics are somewhat more likely than others to fall into this group. * Connectors- as the name indicates they are particularly connected to their workplaces. On average they have spent more years with their current employer than other types of workers and they are more likely to plan to stay with their current employer until they are ready for full retirement. These workers particularly like to feel strong personal connections to their coworkers and are more apt to desire a family-like work atmosphere. In addition this group has a strong interest in health and retirement benefits. Since the 45+ worker is interested in jobs that provide opportunities and personal fulfillment, the survey suggests that companies offer such perks as flexible schedules, part-time work or allowing employees to rotate among different tasks. Although a recent US Bureau of Labor Statistics report finds that nearly 16 million Americans age 55 and over are working or seeking work, with more than a million workers between the ages of 70 and 74 currently employed, some old habits die hard and the AARP survey finds that 67% are worried about ageism. Some of the ways employers discriminate against older employees include the following: * Excluding them from important activities; * Pushing them into early retirement, regardless of their performance; * Cutting them off from education and career development opportunities; * Moving younger people into key positions as a “pre-retirement move;” and * Favoring younger applicants over older, better-qualified candidates. To avoid this, experts recommend that companies include an audit of their attitudes and policies toward older workers. [email protected]

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