2018-01-10 / Features

Three Queens Companies Finalists For Award For Outstanding Workplace Practices

Steinway & Sons and Silvercup Studios are two Queens finalists Steinway & Sons and Silvercup Studios are two Queens finalists Thirteen New York City businesses are being honored by the Columbia Aging Center for valuing workers of all ages. As our population ages and more people work longer, the award aims to highlight industries and businesses using strategic practices to hire and retain valuable workers over age 50. These employers were selected from among 100 applicants, including businesses and nonprofit organizations from all five boroughs and a broad array of sectors. The winners will be announced Wednesday, January 17 at the Rainbow Room.

The Queens finalists include:

Steinway & Sons: (piano manufacturer, 380 NYC employees) The piano factory for which Steinway Street was named has an internal advancement structure that builds expertise and retains workers for decades. The company has continuous improvement workshops, a safety-enhancing “near misses” process that documents averted accidents for future learning, and collaboration between departments to troubleshoot problems and encourage employee input.

Silvercup Studios: (film and TV production facilities, 49 employees) More than half the employees at NYC’s largest full-service film and television facility are over age 50. The company has restructured jobs and used phased retirement to keep engaging their older workforce. They have also hired people in their 50s and 60s.

Sew Right: (retail shop, 7 employees) This shop for selling and repairing sewing machines, fabrics and needlework classes in Bayside, is staffed entirely by people over age 50. Employees there are encouraged to suggest improvements to the business, given opportunities to attend conferences and trained weekly to understand new products and sales methods.

The other 10 city-based companies are National Grid, The Bronx Zoo, Urban Health Plan, WithumSmith+Brown, PKF O’Connor Davies, Riverdale Country School, Educational Alliance, Diller-Quaile School of Music, Veselka, and Lee Spring.

The Age Smart Employer Award, in its third year, is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The award is a project of the Columbia Aging Center at the Mailman School of Public Health. The award selection committee, composed of NYC leaders in business, human resources development and aging, looked for finalists that demonstrated 10 employment practices that support an age-smart workplace.

These practices include: strong benefits, opportunities for advancement, responsiveness to employees’ ideas to improve the work environment, a culture and atmosphere that demonstrates workers are valued, training at all career levels, educational opportunities, flexible work arrangements, job restructuring to accommodate employees’ changing needs, phased retirement and work opportunities for retirees.

A breakfast awards ceremony is being held January 17 at the Rainbow Room, at 30 Rockefeller Center.

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