Over the past century, the average age of the workforce has increased as medical science has continued to enhance longevity and vitality. Many individuals will work past the previously established ages of retirement, and the fastest-growing segment of the workforce is individuals over the age of 55.

Over the past century, the average age of the workforce has increased as medical science has continued to enhance longevity and vitality. Many individuals will work past the previously established ages of retirement, and the fastest-growing segment of the workforce is individuals over the age of 55. Unfortunately, older workers face a variety of discriminatory attitudes in the workplace. Researchers scanned more than 100 publications on age discrimination to determine what types of age stereotypes were most prevalent across studies. They found that stereotypes inferred that older workers are lower performers. Research, on the other hand, indicates they are not, and organizations are realizing the benefits of this needed employee group. Dale Sweere, HR director for engineering firm Stanley Consultants, is one of the growing number of management professionals actively recruiting the older workforce. Sweere says older workers “typically hit the ground running much quicker and they fit into the organization well.” They bring to the job a higher skill level earned through years of experience, remember an industry’s history, and know the aging customer base.

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