June 2020
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TD Magazine

CAFE Certification Combats Workplace Ageism

Monday, June 1, 2020

It may become easier for Colorado job seekers age 50 and older to identify employers where their seasoned skill sets are welcome and valued. Through Changing the Narrative, a Colorado-based initiative designed to prevent workplace ageism, businesses and employers that meet specific requirements can earn the Certified Age-Friendly Employer (CAFE) classification.

Attaining designations such as Best Place to Work or Healthiest Place to Work is common practice for many employers—not just for bragging rights but to provide prospective workers with a glimpse inside an organization's culture. The CAFE certification is no different.


Supported by the Boston-based Age-Friendly Foundation, the CAFE classification offers a nod to employers that value employees based solely on their proficiency, qualifications, and contributions—regardless of age—and also maintain policies, practices, and programs supporting people age 50 and older. Achieving the designation involves a confidential assessment of the company's practices in 12 categories, including candidate recruitment, employee retention, training and development, and healthcare benefits.

Creating a more age-friendly workplace also puts a demand on L&D professionals. According to Changing the Narrative, age-friendly workplaces should invest in training for people of all ages and encourage reciprocal mentoring so that younger and older individuals can learn from each other. Well-known organizations that are already age-friendly certified include AT&T, the Home Depot, Starbucks, and Walgreens. The CAFE designation debuted in Colorado in early 2020.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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