Age-Friendly Workplace Programs

Age-Friendly Workplaces Conference 2020

A collaboration between The University of Iowa College of Public Health and nonprofit Transamerica Institute. Funding provided by NextFifty Initiative.

The CAFES team is excited to present a free webinar on June 17, 2021 from 9-10:50 a.m. MT that will explore the business case for hiring experienced employees (age 50+) and show employers how they can implement age-inclusive management strategies to compete for valuable talent. This webinar will offer attendees the opportunity to hear from national and Colorado-based speakers about efforts to create a multigenerational workforce and available resources. This webinar builds on the learnings from our 2020 conference. Register now for the webinar!

On February 27, 2020, Transamerica Institute hosted a groundbreaking event dedicated to showcasing best practices for recruiting and retaining experienced employees. It unveiled research findings from the Colorado’s Above-Fifty Employment Strategies (CAFES) initiative. Conference attendees had the opportunity to network and learn from experts in local CO and national organizations about the impact of population aging on the workforce and the imperative of integrating experienced employees into the workplace. The event was free, held at the McNichols Center Building, and catered to HR professionals, company executives, and others interested in the aging workforce and shaping the future.

2021 Webinar | Age-Inclusive Management Strategies in Colorado

Register Here                                                    Print Agenda

Webinar Agenda
June 17, 2021
9-10:50 a.m. Mountain Time 

9-9:05 a.m. MT |  Welcome 
Catherine Collinson, CEO and President, Transamerica Institute 

9:05-9:10 a.m. |  Greetings from the Capitol
Jared Polis, Colorado Governor   

9:10-9:25 a.m.  |  Future of Work 
Joe Barela, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

9:25-9:35 a.m.  |  Reimagining Workforce Development Plans
Lee Wheeler-Berliner, Managing Director, Colorado Workforce Development Council

9:35-10 a.m.  |  Keynote Address
Kerry Hannon, Author and Expert Strategist on Work and Jobs 

10-10:05 a.m.  |  Break

10:05-10:20 a.m.  |  Employer Best Practices
Tom Harder, Partner & Director of Sales, GavinHeath 

10:20-10:30 a.m.  |  AIMS Colorado Website Presentation
Brian Kaskie, Associate Professor, University of Iowa - Health Management and Policy

10:30-10:45 a.m.  |  AIMS Colorado Website Testimonials
Romicha Cooper, HR Director, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
Rachelle Salem, Executive Lead of Strategic Partnerships, GavinHeath

10:45-10:50 a.m.  |  Where Are We Going Next?
Catherine Collinson and Brian Kaskie  


2020 Conference | Age-Friendly Workplaces: Recruiting and Retaining Experienced Employees

2020 Conference Agenda

[1/8] Age-Friendly Workplaces Conference
This ground-breaking conference -- Age-Friendly Workplace Programs: Recruiting and Retaining Experienced Employees -- explored the opportunities of an aging workforce and win-win situations with recognizing the value of age 50+ workers. We hosted an exciting roster of national experts, local Colorado officials, and local nonprofits.


  • Catherine Collinson, CEO and President, Transamerica Institute

[2/8] Greetings from Colorado's Capitol

Colorado Governor, Jared Polis, shares his vision of “Colorado for All” so that people of all ages have every opportunity to succeed and thrive. Employers need to create age-friendly workplaces, as more and more older Coloradans will want or need to stay in the workforce past traditional retirement age. Organizations need to respond to the unique demands of experienced employees and provide additional training or assistance. Colordado’s workforce should have no room for age discrimination.


  • Jared Polis, Colorado Governor

[3/8] The Future of Work in Colorado

Colorado faces a critical-skills shortage with a quickly aging workforce. This presents opportunities to retain age 50+ experienced workers and offer lifelong learning to workers while on the job. Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment strives to serve the needs of this changing workforce and to support reskilling and upskilling as industries evolve so workers can stay relevant and productive.


  • Joe Barela, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
Download Joe Barela's presentation

[4/8] The Longevity Economy

Aging populations are creating new opportunities and markets for older people around the world. Every company should have a strategy for tapping into the human capital value of older adults and multigenerational teams. There is also market potential for creating innovative solutions to aging in place and social isolation. Paul Irving emphasizes that these business interests of an aging population also enhance the health, financial security, and purpose for the benefit of all.

Keynote Speaker:

  • Paul Irving, Chairman, Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging
Download Paul Irving's presentation

[5/8] Age-Friendly Workplaces Research

Colorado’s Above-Fifty Employment Strategies (CAFES) – a collaboration between nonprofit Transamerica Institute and the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health, with funding from Colorado-based NextFifty Initiative – surveyed 146 employers across the state of Colorado to examine the ways businesses are recruiting and retaining experienced employees (age 50+ workers). Dr. Brian Kaskie’s survey findings reveal that Colorado is experiencing the impact of “structural lag,” where demographic shifts are ahead of the systems, processes, and societal practices. It also highlights a myriad of opportunities to recognize the vital contributions of experienced employees and to build policies to successfully meet their changing needs.  


  • Brian Kaskie, Associate Professor, University of Iowa - Health Management and Policy

Read the full CAFES research report 

[6/8] Living, Learning and Earning Longer & Employers Taking the Lead

An age-diverse and inclusive workforces are the future, yet many employers are failing to recognize older workers’ potential to live, learn, and earn longer. A panel of experts share empirical evidence debunking misperceptions about older workers and discuss best practices for creating a culture of respect, establishing policies and procedures, and identifying work incentives.


  • Ramsey Alwin, Director, AARP Thought Leadership
  • Rick Guzzo, Partner & Co-Founder, Mercer Workforce Sciences Institute
  • Moderated by: Richard Eisenberg, Managing Editor, Next Avenue
Download Ramsey Alwin's presentation 

Download Rick Guzzo's presentation 

[7/8] Connections Among Colorado Nonprofits

Colorado nonprofits showcase their efforts in providing resources for older adults in the workplace. Through workshops, webinars, and training, these groups discuss age-friendly initiatives around life-long learning and upskilling. Nonprofits also promote the need to change the narrative on aging and ageism. Creating a more inclusive workforce that both thinks and speaks positively of older workers will set the stage for an age-friendly Colorado.


  • Karen Brown, Director, Changing the Narrative Age-Friendly Workplace Initiative; CO Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging
  • Khristine Rogers, State Director, Senior Planet & Older Adults Technology Services (OATS)
  • Janine Vanderburg, Director & Chief Catalyst, Changing the Narrative
  • Moderated by: Catherine Collinson, CEO and President, Transamerica Institute

[8/8] Colorado Age-Friendly Sate Policies and Program

Colorado is on the forefront of innovative programs and policies to support experienced employees in the workforce. A panel of experts discuss how several state agencies are working together to envision and support the future of work. Topics range from integrating rural communities, attracting experienced employees to workforce development centers, guiding public-private partnerships, educating employers and helping them integrate best practices, to debunking myths about experienced employees.


  • Kelly Folks, Director, Arapahoe/Douglas Works!
  • Dr. Christian Itin, CO Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging (SAPGA)
  • Katherine Keegan, Director, CO Office of the Future of Work
  • Moderated by Janice Blanchard, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Polis



2020 Conference Recap on Twitter #CAFES2020

1. Greetings from the Capitol with Jared Polis, Colorado Governor


2. Future of Work with Joe Barela, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment


3. The Longevity Economy with Paul Irving, Chairman, Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging


4. Key Findings from CAFES' Age-Friendly Workplace Programs Research with Dr. Brian Kaskie, Associate Professor, University of Iowa - Health Management & Policy


5. Living, Learning & Earning Longer with Rasmey Alwin, Director, AARP Thought Leadership


6. Age and Performance with Rick Guzzo, Partner & Co-Founder, Mercer Workforce Sciences Institute


Research on Age-Friendly Workplace Programs

Download the full CAFES research report

Colorado Age-Friendly Workplaces Research Report


Colorado’s Above-Fifty Employment Strategies (CAFES)  is a multi-year project that aims to transform the way employers shape the future of aging in Colorado, by addressing how they meet the needs and preferences of experienced employees (age 50+ workers). It is a collaboration between researchers at The University of Iowa College of Public Health and content experts at Transamerica Institute. This project has been made possible by a grant from Colorado-based nonprofit NextFifty Initiative. 

Population aging, a phenomenon resulting from the combination of longer life expectancies and lower birthrates, has widespread implications for both employees and employers across the state of Colorado. Indeed, Colorado’s workforce is growing older. In 2015, working Coloradans over the age of 55 accounted for 20 percent of the state workforce. By the year 2030, more than one in four persons working in the state of Colorado will be over 55. Many workers will want and/or need to stay in the workforce beyond traditional retirement age in order to adequately save and achieve financial security when they retire. Employment impacts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated employment issues among experienced employees. 

The project’s overarching goal is to transform how employers address the needs and preferences of experienced employees across the state of Colorado. The project, which has pivoted to a virtual model, will accomplish these four goals:

  1. Through a survey of Colorado employers, identify and assess how they are addressing experienced employees,
  2. Disseminate information about best practices adopted by Colorado employers,
  3. Facilitate implementation of best practices among Colorado employers, and
  4. Initiate a state-wide public awareness campaign that highlights how employers can successfully address the implications of Colorado’s aging workforce.

By illuminating how employers are addressing this unprecedented labor force change and identifying policies and programs that have the greatest impact on experienced employees, best practices can be shared across the state. This effort to move Colorado’s employers closer toward meeting the needs and preferences of an age-friendly workplace constitutes a substantive contribution to improving future opportunities to age successfully in Colorado.


The University of Iowa College of Public Health works to promote health and prevent injury and illness through its commitment to education and training, excellence in research, innovation in policy development, and devotion to public health practice.

Transamerica Institute® is a nonprofit, private foundation dedicated to identifying, researching and educating the public about retirement, health coverage and better outcomes in personal health and wellness, and other relevant issues facing Americans today. It comprises two research centers: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies ® and Transamerica Center for Health Studies ®. The Institute is funded by contributions from Transamerica Life Insurance Company and its affiliates and may receive funds from unaffiliated third parties. The Institute is not affiliated with The University of Iowa or NextFifty Initiative.

NextFifty Initiative is a Colorado-based private foundation dedicated to funding mission-driven initiatives that improve the lives of the older adult population and their caregivers. It seeks to fund game-changing efforts to improve and sustain quality of life for people in their second 50 years. NextFifty Initiative educates about proven initiatives and advocates for transformational change.