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Cornell is first in AARP history to win top award twice

Cornell has been named the AARP's top U.S. employer for workers 50 and older for the second consecutive year. The university is the first employer in the organization's history to be recognized as the No. 1 employer more than once.

Cornell was recognized by the AARP for such innovative university policies as phased retirement for faculty and staff, an on-site wellness program, flexible work options (e.g., telecommuting and compressed work weeks), paid days off for family care giving, a university-subsidized prescription drug plan and free Cornell education for Cornell retirees.

"We are honored to again be recognized by AARP as the nation's top employer for workers aged 50 and over," Cornell President David J. Skorton said. "Earning this recognition for a second consecutive year affirms our collective efforts in making Cornell a caring and inclusive community for people to work, study, create and discover."

In winning the award, Cornell edged out more than 200 other employers -- the largest field of applicants in the award's nine-year history.

"Winning this recognition from the AARP for 2009 is particularly gratifying, as we have worked aggressively to meet the needs of our increasingly diverse workforce while addressing our financial challenges," said Mary Opperman, vice president for human resources at Cornell.

Human resource programs at Cornell continue to earn the university accolades as a top employer for a wide range of employees, including adoptive parents; prospective parents; employees from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds; information-technology workers; lesbian, gay and transgender workers; working mothers; and veterans.

New programs and services for employees 50 and older at Cornell are in the works, including a Web site that is being specifically designed to provide retirees with resources and life tips, and the "Encore Cornell" program that will provide assistance to Cornell retirees, in Ithaca and throughout the nation, in obtaining temporary on-site and remote employment opportunities with Cornell. Encore Cornell is expected to roll out later this fall.


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Joe Schwartz