avera_cropSioux Falls based Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center made the list of Best Employers for workers over 50 for a second time.  Avera made the list in 2011, and is being honored again by AARP and the Society for Human Resource Management.

“Making the list for a second time, Avera demonstrates it values the experience 50+ workers bring to the work place,” said Sarah Jennings, state director for AARP South Dakota.  “Avera improves opportunities for older workers by implementing programs to retain, retrain, engage and recruit mature workers – and that’s just smart business.  We’re thrilled to have a Best Employer right here in our community, committed to providing opportunities for workers over the age of 50.”

A few of the criteria which helped Avera earn the recognition include:

  • An “Onboarding Program for Nursing, which matches experienced nurse mentors with new employees.
  • Health coaching is offered to all Avera McKennan employees.
  • Use of senior placement agencies to target mature workers and retirees, including a relationship with ‘BRIDGES Employment Center’, at Active Generations
  • Training and development opportunities
  • Individual and family medical coverage
  • Retirement savings opportunities
  • Alternative and flexible work arrangements
  • Dedicated retiree relations program


Nearly a third of the Avera McKennan work force is over the age of 50, and the average tenure of employees age 50+ is 8.9 years.

The top Best Employers this year will be profiled in the August-September issue of AARP The Magazine. Accompanying that salute will be a feature article that explores the strengths of older workers.

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