Are you over 50 and looking for a job? The Boston Red Sox may be able to help

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When it comes to addressing shortages in the labor market, one group of workers often gets overlooked: People over the age of 50. 

The nonprofit Age-Friendly Institute in Waltham, Massachusetts runs a verification program to highlight workplaces that are “Certified Age Friendly Employers.”  Among the 200 organizations around the world to have earned the honor: The Boston Red Sox.

“We have, right around probably 1,800 to 2,000 employees across the organization. And we have over 30% of folks fall into that category of 50 plus,” explained Michael Lara, who is the manager of diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging for the Red Sox.

Among them is Connie Pagan, who is employed by the Red Sox Foundation as a 5050 raffle seller. She used to be a social worker.

“I noticed a lot of older people working here, men and women. And it’s like, oh, I’d love to work here. So when I retired a year after I retired, I investigated, and here I am,” she said.

Gus Gomes, a Fenway ambassador, is a former school administrator and teacher.

“You can relax a little bit.  Unlike a high stress career or employment, you can just have some fun,” he said of his work at Fenway.

Tom Sweeney now works as an usher. He used to have a government job.

“I’ve been here 13 years, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” he said.

“It’s important for us that people of all different backgrounds feel welcome and included here. And age diversity, generational diversity is really important to us as an aspect of that,” Lara said.

“You come alive when you’re here. You love. You love the fans. You love the atmosphere, the ambience. And you laugh,” Pagan said.

“When I’m coming here I’m not worried about anything else except being here and helping the folks,” added Sean Corcoran, who took his job when works at his real estate law practice slowed down.

“At the end of the day, older adults either need to work longer or want to work longer or some combination. We need to make it easier for them,” explained Tim Driver, CEO of Age Friendly Ventures.

“There’s a deep sense and feeling among older adults out there that there’s age bias in the workplace,” he continued. “What many employers, though, have figured out is that for business reasons and many other reasons, it makes sense to go and recruit this often overlooked cohort in the workforce.”

Driver also notes that if you have more people in the workforce longer, it helps the economy.

More than 500 organizations around the world are going through the certification process right now. Driver says there’s no specific litmus test or quota for workers over age 50 – it’s about company culture, benefits and flexibility. The Age-Friendly Institute compares peers in the same industries – health care companies with others, state governments with others – to make verifications. In fact, Massachusetts was the first state to be classified as an age-friendly employer. Every two years, they must be recertified.

If you’re on the hunt for work over the age of 50, you can search for certified jobs at RetirementJobs.com.

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