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For Immediate Release

May 9 Discussion of The Business Case for Age-Friendly Hiring

Employers Benefit from Experienced Older Workers

Santa Rosa, CA  –  April 10, 2018  –  Hiring the right employees is a challenge for business when unemployment is low. In Sonoma County, there’s a group of workers that offers experience, skills, flexibility in work hours and high job performance to fill the need – older adult job seekers.

“Twenty-five percent of our county population is age 60 and above and many want to work,” says Sonoma County Board of Supervisors member Shirlee Zane, District 3. “Unfortunately, older adults can face age discrimination in hiring, despite studies that show that every aspect of job performance gets better as we age.”

Employers and human resources professionals in all fields are invited to learn more at a breakfast meeting discussing Sonoma County’s New Workforce: Older Adults – The Business Case for Age-Friendly Hiring, on Wed., May 9, 7-10 a.m., at Vintners Inn, 4350 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa. The event is hosted by Aging Together Sonoma County, the Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board and the Economic Development Board.

Reservations are $25 for individuals or $200 for a table of eight at eventbrite.com/e/sonoma-countys-new-workforce-older-adults-tickets-43634670474. For event information, call (707) 525-0143, ext. 100.

The keynote address, The Right Stuff: Older Adults Working Longer, Working Smarter, by Richard Adler, Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for the Future, will be followed by a panel of local age-friendly employers discussing the benefits they’ve experienced by hiring older workers. The panel will be moderated by Cynthia Murray, President and CEO, North Bay Leadership Council. Speakers are: Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Jackson Family Wines Larry D. Smith; Bett Dundershein, Business and Community Outreach Coordinator for the San Francisco/Marin YWCA, which runs a program for re-employment of age 55+ women, and Matt Maguire, retired from the commercial solar industry, now working in hospitality industry at Sonoma Portworks.

“Older workers bring wisdom and experience that can assist in problem resolution and building a healthy workplace,” says Sonoma County Board of Supervisors member Lynda Hopkins, District 5. “Given the high performance of older workers, the discrimination against them in the workplace really makes no sense." 

In a 2009 report from the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College, hiring managers gave older employees high marks for loyalty, reliability and productivity. Keeping older employees working more years has another benefit, according to economists – it boosts overall employment, which strengthens the whole economy. 

Aging Together Sonoma County is led by members of the Board of Supervisors, the Sonoma County Human Services Department Adult and Aging Division, Sonoma County Department of Public Health, the Council on Aging, Petaluma People Services Center and the Petaluma Health Center. By encouraging education and advocacy, the initiative supports Sonoma County as a healthy place to live, work and play: a place that supports all people to thrive across their lifespan and achieve their life potential.


Contact Information

Communications Manager
Human Services Department
County of Sonoma
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Contact us by Phone
3600 Westwind Boulevard
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.508155, -122.795028
Mailing Address
PO Box 1539
Santa Rosa, CA 95402