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Sloan Center News

State Agencies Failing to Engage Older Workers

16 December 2009—When I drive to work each morning, I pass by a small electrical supply store that has a neon sign posted by the highway. It’s a bit like a throw-back from the 1950s because the messages include personal greetings (like “Happy Birthday Bill”), folk wisdom (“Be nice.”), and practical advice (“Floss your teeth.” I am not kidding. That appeared in October.). Needless to say, I check the sign board everyday. Almost always, the messages put a smile on my face.

One day this week, when I passed the sign, I started thinking. I pondered: If I had to prepare a neon sign each day on the theme of aging and work, what would I say? The challenge would be to select great “factoids” that could tell compelling stories about the 21st century workforce demographics. Actually, I would be lucky because I can access a database of factoids that the Center has been building for the past two years. I would just have to start searching.

Now, you are lucky as well. Whether you find it effective to use facts and graphs for presentations or to bolster the business case that you present to your supervisor, you can access our Facts Database because we are making it available to the public on our website. We have dedicated highly specialized staff who select the most rigorous and timely information available and relevant to aging and work and put it into the database so you can search it for yourself.

Over the years, employers have asked us for evidence they can use to inform leading edge workplace responsiveness. Talent managers responsible for workforce analyses need facts “just in time” as they develop their strategies and action plans. Business leaders have been interested in obtaining facts such as data describing age and generational similarities/differences, health and wellbeing statistics, information relevant to training and workforce development, and facts about age bias. Policy makers also seek information on the latest workforce trends to inform decision-making.

Our Facts Database provides over 1700 statistics on workforce trends. We select facts from the Center's own research, journal articles, and reports published by non-profit and for-profit agencies and organizations. Each fact is coded with one or more topics for ease of searching the database. Graphs and figures that you can copy for your own use are also included.

In an era of so little spare time, we need to be able to rely on a few key trusted resources to improve quality of employment and overall business outcomes. I rely on our Facts Database. If you’re like me, you’ll love it. Trust me, the Facts Database will be more useful than a neon sign which reminds you to take care of your dental hygiene.