- New Jersey Advocates for Aging Well (NJAAW) sees unique opportunity for NJ employers to address talent shortages through participation in Certified Age-Friendly Employer™ (CAFE) program
- New Jersey older adults who consider age an impediment in their job search will know which employers’ doors to knock on first when it comes to working in “retirement”
- CAFE Program, hailed as “New National Model” by the U.S. Labor Secretary, is now addressing workforce needs across all industries
WALTHAM, MA and HAMILTON, NJ, USA — January 24, 2023 — NJAAW (New Jersey Advocates for Aging Well) and the Age-Friendly Institute announced a partnership to make it easier for older New Jersey residents to land work with employers that proactively recruit and retain age 50+ employees. Age-Friendly Institute President Tim Driver and NJAAW Executive Director Cathy Rowe said “we’re delighted to join forces to better connect employers and older residents in the great state of New Jersey.”
The Certified Age-Friendly Employer (CAFE) Program, developed by a team of analysts and professionals with specializations in compensation, benefits and HR, began establishing best practices for being an age-friendly employer in 2006. There are hundreds of employers in the program across all industries, including both the private and public sectors.
Helping older adults work longer includes stakeholders of many stripes. They include research and advocacy organizations like NJAAW and the Age-Friendly Institute; Also policy makers, like the State of Massachusetts, which in 2022 became the first state in the U.S. to become certified as an age-friendly employer. The Massachusetts action, announced by Governor Charlie Baker, is spurring more states to seek the designation. Policymakers in States like Massachusetts are choosing to lead by example. They also want to drive healthy aging and economic expansion through increased labor force participation.
“Employers and older New Jersey residents alike stand to significantly benefit,” said Rowe. “Employers will be better able to retain employees and to attract candidates. They can also expand their Diversity, Equity & Inclusion efforts to include age, and learn from experts and peers about what it means to be ‘age friendly’. This particular type of diversity is sometimes overlooked. For the older adults we serve, this program helps them know where to turn, and to save time by applying first at Garden State employers whose cultures are more likely to welcome them in.”
In October 2021, New Jersey passed legislation to fight age discrimination in the workforce. The law closed a loophole that requires some State government workers to retire once they hit a certain age and repealed language that allowed employers to refuse to hire someone who is 70 or older. It also repealed the mandatory retirement age of 70 for tenured employees at colleges and universities. “Bringing the CAFÉ program to New Jersey will further advance the rights and recognition of the value older residents bring to the workforce at the time many employers are experiencing worker shortages,” added Rowe.
As living and working longer is a phenomenon not limited to the Unites States, in 2022, the Age-Friendly Institute announced the CAFE program’s expansion into Canada and Brazil.
For information or to inquire about the certification process, contact New Jersey Advocates for Aging Well at (609) 421-0206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Age-Friendly Institute
The Age-Friendly Institute (institute.agefriendly.org) celebrates and elevates all things age-friendly. Its consumer website AgeFriendly.org was created to simplify the confusing landscape for older adults and families as they navigate aging and to give voice to their experiences. AgeFriendly.org brings together expert-developed systems for establishing what is age-friendly with reviews, ratings and insights from older adults and family caregivers. Through its research and events, the Institute encourages cross-sector collaboration among aging services organizations in pursuit of a comprehensive Age-Friendly Ecosystem. The Age-Friendly Institute is also the home of the Certified Age Friendly Employer (CAFÉ) program. The CAFÉ Program began as part of RetirementJobs.com in 2006.
About NJ Advocates for Aging Well
NJ Advocates for Aging Well (NJAAW, njaaw.org), formerly NJ Foundation for Aging, has been on the forefront of revolutionizing the aging experience since 1998. It is the only statewide nonprofit focused solely on providing leadership in public policy and education to enable older adults to live with independence and dignity in their communities. NJAAW’s social action issues include senior housing and hunger, elder economic security, older workers, the direct care workforce, and transportation. The award-winning Aging Insights, a monthly topical TV program and podcast produced by NJAAW, connects caregivers, seniors and their families to community-based services and resources. The show is available on youtube.com/user/njfoundationforaging/, NJAAW’s website and on more than 70 public access TV stations. NJAAW also presents educational forums and an Annual Conference offering development opportunities and best practices for professionals entrusted with caring for seniors.
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