July 15, 2011

State Seeks Best Older Worker of 2011

The battle is on for the best older worker of 2011.

Missouri's annual Older Worker of the Year contest seeks to honor a Missouri resident who is 60 or older, employed at least 20 hours a week, and displays dependability and new skills on the job. The winner and regional finalists will be recognized at a two-day awards ceremony in November in Jefferson City.

"Older workers play a vital role in our economy," said Margaret Donnelly, director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, which is helping to sponsor the contest. "They're highly valued for qualities such as judgment, commitment to quality, attendance and punctuality. Companies who recruit mature workers can attract top talent in a changing workforce."

Last year's Older Worker of the Year was Nina George, a teacher's aide for 44 years, who often spent her own money to ensure her elementary school students had school supplies, snacks, clothing and field trip money.

Nomination forms for 2011's Older Worker of the Year are available on the Department of Health and Senior Services' Web site, http://www.health.mo.gov/ownomform.pdf . Completed nomination forms must be postmarked or faxed by August 31, 2011.

The completed entry forms can be faxed to (573) 522-3024. They also can be mailed to: Missouri Outstanding Older Worker Contest, Division of Senior and Disability Services, Bureau of Senior Programs, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570.

Nomination forms must include a narrative explaining why the nominee deserves to be selected Older Worker of the Year.

Now in its 21st year, the annual Older Worker of the Year recognition is sponsored by the Missouri Senior Employment Coordinating Committee, consisting of the AARP Foundation; Experience Works; Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph; MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries; Missouri Department of Economic Development/Division of Workforce Development; and the Department of Health and Senior Services/Division of Senior and Disability Services.

For more information, please call 573-526-4542. The Missouri Older Worker of the Year nomination form is attached.