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Joining Forces with AARP

With the graying of the workforce, more employees like Ed Cramer, hired at age 63, will be joining the ranks.
The Rev. Herb Lodder, Bayview’s new manager of pastoral care, noted in a brief write-up in the hospital’s semi-monthly newssheet that his “favorite song to whistle” is “Side by Side.” Don’t remember that one? You would if, like Lodder, 71, you grew up in the 30s and 40s.

Ed Cramer spent 29 years in the military as an intelligence officer. Now he works in the Office of Corporate Communications as the field services manager for the US Family Health Plan, a DOD managed care plan administered by JH Community Physicians in Central Maryland. Cramer was hired last June. He was 63.

Sixty-three? Seventy-one? These may sound like ripe old ages to start a new job, but in fact, out of 1,980 people hired by the Health System last year, 90 were over the age of 55. Soon there will be more like them, because by 2012 almost one in five workers will be 55 or older.

Clearly, courting and retaining older employees will be the imperatives of the future. That is why Hopkins Hospital and Bayview are joining forces with AARP as an “AARP Featured Employer.” The partnership, to be announced at a Feb. 28 press conference in Washington, D.C., attended by Hospital President Ron Peterson and CEOs representing other AARP Featured Employers (about a dozen in all), is expected to provide Hopkins with a new pool of over-50 job candidates.

Hopkins will maintain a presence on AARP’s careers Web site. (Ultimately, all JHM entities will be included.) From there, visitors can link to a special Hopkins site to learn about the organization and its job opportunities. Hopkins will pay a fee of approximately $2,000 to AARP to manage its members’ response, which could be significant indeed, as AARP represents 36 million Americans 50 and older.

Through workshops and “tool-kits,” AARP will coach JHM executives and managers on recruiting, managing and retaining mature workers. “AARP will also review our practices, benefits and types of positions,” explains Bonnie Windsor, director of career services for the Health System.

Windsor notes that Hopkins is already on the right track. At Hopkins Hospital alone, a full 25 percent of the workforce is over 50. The link with AARP, she says, may result in such innovations as new policies and benefits, more part-time positions and training programs geared to older adults. “We hope this partnership will help us find ways to continually support our mature workers.”

—Anne Bennett Swingle



Johns Hopkins Medicine

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