Certified Age Friendly Employer (CAFE) Program

The Age Friendly Foundation’s Certified Age Friendly Employer (CAFE) program is an initiative to identify those organizations that are committed to being the best places to work for employees at or above age 50, and to assist age 50+ job seekers by identifying age friendly employers. Demographic shifts resulting from increases in life expectancy mean that traditional retirement is not likely to exist in the future. Instead, we will see longer employment, increasingly phased retirement, part-time or reduced hours, and other modified employment options that are conducive to continued participation in the workforce. Employers that address the needs of older workers will benefit not only themselves, but the economy as a whole.

Certified employers are those that value employees based solely on their proficiency, qualifications and contribution, and also maintain policies, practices and programs supporting people age 50 and older. Further, Certified Age Friendly Employers want age 50+ candidates to know they are valued for their knowledge, maturity, reliability and productivity as well as their commitment to provide meaningful employment, development opportunities and competitive pay and benefits for those employees.

This special designation means the Age Friendly Foundation has determined — following a confidential, comprehensive, in-depth analysis based on interviews with authorized employer representatives – that the employer meets the Foundation’s Age Friendly Certification Standards. Meeting these Certification Standards specifically includes the employer showing a commitment to employ individuals over age 50 and to internally investigate employee complaints regarding age discrimination. Certified Age Friendly Employers pay a fee for biennial reviews & monitoring. Certification does not mean that the business's products or services have been evaluated or endorsed as age friendly by the Foundation. Not all organizations that apply for certification earn it; however, in these cases, the Foundation will confidentially identify key weaknesses in the employer's program so that they may improve those deficiencies and reapply in the future.

CErTIFIcation purpose

The purpose of the Age Friendly Employer Certification program is to assist age 50+ job seekers by identifying those employers committed to objectively considering them for appropriate employment, free of age bias or discrimination. Certified Age Friendly Employers want age 50+ candidates to know they are valued for their knowledge, maturity, reliability and productivity.

Out of need or choice, an increasing percentage of people over age 50 are remaining in the workforce longer or are returning to work after a period away from the workforce. Some plan to remain in their mainstream careers while others seek different challenges or opportunities.

Mature workers generate measurably higher customer satisfaction rates. They also remain three times longer in their jobs than younger workers, thus reducing the significant costs associated with hiring new workers.

Workers in this steadily growing growing segment of our population will look to those employers that are welcoming of a value older workers — employers like those that are certified Age Friendly.

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Certification Standards

The Age Friendly Foundation’s research and evaluation of the recruiting, employment and human resources policies, practices and programs of recognized Age Friendly employers yields a model of proven best practice standards. This model is the basis of the Certification evaluation program. The twelve categories of best practices standards are:

  1. General Commitment and Workforce Policies

  2. Organization Culture and Employee Relations

  3. Workforce Planning and Composition

  4. Employee Retention

  5. Candidate Recruiting

  6. Management Style and Practices

  7. Training and Development

  8. Job Content and Process Accommodations

  9. Work Schedules, Arrangements and Time Off

  10. Compensation Programs

  11. Healthcare Benefits

  12. Savings and Retirement Benefits

Within each standard category are several established prominent best practice policies, practices and programs that comprise the framework of the Certification evaluation process.

Recognition

The certification granted by the Age Friendly Foundation is that of Certified Age Friendly Employer. This designation is issued following successful completion of the Certification evaluation by Foundation staff. Certified employers are listed on the Age Friendly Foundation’s website and in publicity material. Certified employers are encouraged to place the seal on their own career sites, on postings at other online sites such as RetirementJobs.com, and in appropriate marketing collateral.

Certification Evaluation Process

The evaluation's primary steps are:

  1. Application or Letter of Interest - Employers may submit an evaluation application or letter of interest.

  2. Process Review Discussion - A Foundation staff member will contact the employer to explain the Certification program and the entire evaluation process.

  3. Evaluation Questionnaire - Participating employers may complete a confidential questionnaire of recruiting and employment policies, practices and programs. This questionnaire encompasses the twelve categories of known best practices related to age friendly employers.

  4. Program Review - The employer's questionnaire submission is reviewed by the Age friendly Foundation and follow up discussions are held as appropriate (on-site, via phone or e-mail) to ensure accuracy and validity. Additional material or information may be requested of the employer.

  5. Related Recognition - Other public recognition as an age friendly employer is considered favorably in the evaluation process.

  6. Renewal and Recertification - Recertification is completed every twenty-four months. In this way, employers seeking to maintain the currency of their certification are assured of a scheduled review.

CERTIFIED EMPLOYERS

Below is a list of employers that have earned the Certified Age Friendly Employer™ designation. 

  • Adecco

  • Aetna

  • AlliedBarton Security Services

  • AnswerNet Network

  • APAC Customer Services, Inc.

  • Aquarium of the Pacific

  • ARC of Hunterdon County, NJ 

  • Aspect Foundation

  • AT&T

  • Avis Budget Group / ABG

  • Beaumont Hospital (MI)

  • Benchmark Senior Living

  • Bright Horizons Family Solutions

  • Carmazzi Global Solutions

  • Citizens Financial Group 

  • Comcast Cable Communications, Inc.

  • Crate & Barrel

  • CVS/pharmacy

  • Delta Dental of CA, MO, Northeast and NJ 

  • Express Employment Professionals

  • Fidelity Investments

  • FirstGroup America Inc.

  • Fresenius Medical Care North America

  • Fresh Market

  • H&R Block Tax Services

  • HCR ManorCare

  • Headway Workforce Solutions

  • Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield (PA) 

  • Home Helpers

  • Home Instead Senior Care

  • Homewatch CareGivers

  • Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield (NJ)

  • Internal Revenue Service

  • John Hancock Financial

  • Johns Hopkins Medicine

  • Kelly Services, Inc.

  • La Quinta Hotels

  • Lasell Village

  • Lee Memorial

  • Macy’s

  • Manpower, Inc.

  • Marriott Vacation Clubs

  • Mass General Hospital

  • Mature Caregivers

  • MetLife, Inc.

  • MPS Staffing

  • MyNetico

  • NetBooks

  • New York Life Insurance Company

  • News America Marketing

  • Office of Disaster Assistance (SBA)

  • Peace Corps

  • Pitney Bowes, Inc.

  • Principal Financial Group

  • QualCare, Inc.

  • Quest Diagnostics

  • Randstad

  • Recreation Equipment Incorporated - REI

  • RetirementJobs.com

  • Right at Home

  • Robert Half International

  • Safeway

  • Schneider National

  • Scripps Health

  • ServiceLink

  • Sitel, Corp.

  • Spherion Corporation

  • Staples

  • Starbucks Coffee

  • SunTrust Bank

  • Synergy HomeCare

  • The Home Depot

  • Toys “R” Us

  • Toys R Us / Babies R Us

  • Transportation Security Admin. (TSA) 

  • Travelers

  • Twin Cities Public Television

  • UnitedHealth Group

  • Vanguard Investments

  • Verizon

  • VSA Arts of Georgia

  • WAHVE (Work At Home Vintage Experts)

  • Walgreens

  • Wells Fargo

  • WellStar Health System

PROGRAM HISTORY

The Certified Age Friendly Employer (CAFE) Program was originated in 2005 by RetirementJobs.com, a U.S. career site serving jobseekers age 50+. In 2019, the Program was moved to the non-profit Age Friendly Foundation.

Initiating an employer certification

The process typically takes about two weeks. To apply, please contact Executive Director Amanda Henshon at ahenshon@agefriendlyfoundation.org.