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Cianbro Earns Recognition As One of Maine's Best Employers for Older Workers

The Maine Jobs Council, under the auspices of the state's Department of Labor, has named Cianbro one of five recipients of the 2010 Silver Collar Employer Award. The recognition is given each year to employers in Maine whose innovative policies and practices match the needs of mature employees, capturing their skills and experience, strong work ethic, flexibility and enthusiasm. 

"Winners of the Silver Collar Award understand the value of well-trained older workers," said John Christie, Co-chair of the Older Workers Committee, which is an auxiliary of the Maine Jobs Council. Older workers are defined as having reached 55 years of age or above. Among the attributes of Silver Collar Award Winning companies is the willingness to provide an atmosphere that is friendly and accommodating to older workers, offering flexible and part-time schedules for older men and women, tailoring benefits packages that work well for workers in their later productive years, and providing training opportunities that benefit mature employees. As a Silver Collar Employer Award winner, Cianbro joins Hollywood Slots, LL Bean Bangor Call Center, Merrill Bank, and the University of Maine at Orono as the 2010 recipients.

"Cianbro's focus on employee-ownership means that team members take extra pride in their work," said Christie. "And that extra pride translates into a well-trained and loyal workforce that stays with the company well into the latter years of a career. With half of Maine's population over the age of 40, and with the state owning the oldest median age in the nation, Cianbro's retention rate puts the company in line for such awards." One of the reasons the Maine Jobs Council gives the award is to help promote a greater public appreciation for the value of older workers. "When a company with the business reputation of Cianbro is seen as being supportive of mature workers," said Christie, "other businesses are likely to take note and say, 'Hey, they might have a good idea there.'"

"Our Career Development planning allows us to retain our older people who, in turn, become mentors for our up-and-coming team members," said Cianbro's Associate Director of Workforce Development, Steve Pound. "So, the company's investment in our mature team members gives us double the bang for the buck, both on the jobsite and as role models for the newest generation on the Cianbro team."

Mike Bennett, Cianbro's Director of Human Resources, said the company's older workers are seen as an important resource. "Our ‘Silver Collar’ team members are of tremendous value to our company," he said. "Many of them are actively mentoring the younger population to keep us safe, productive and competitive. We are very fortunate to have them on the team."

Members of Cianbro's Senior Management Team will accept the award at a celebration later in September.

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