Local bakery Amy’s Bread is being celebrated for creating a positive working environment for older employees. NY1's Clodagh McGowan filed the following report.
At the Amy's Bread factory in Long Island City, skilled hands are hard at work.
Founder Amy Scherber says retaining older and experienced workers is important to the company.
"Having people here that are a little bit older is part of our culture. It's really part of what we do and it's part of the fabric of who we are. We really value people for their contributions," Scherber said.
Amy's Bread is one of six businesses throughout the city recently honored with the Age Smart Employer Award. It recognizes businesses that encourage different generations to work side by side.
"A lot of our staff have been here longer than I have, and very senior-level people with a lot of shaping experience and baking experience. It's incredible," said David Chaffin, the production manager for Amy's Bread.
Scherber says of her 200 employees, about 25 percent are over the age of 50.
"They have so much experience that they really are mentors and teachers for the rest of the staff," Scherber said.
According to the Columbia University Aging Center, which distributes the awards, almost 700,000 adults ages 55 and up make up the workforce in New York City.
"People are working longer, and they want to keep on working as long as they can because they are concerned about saving for their future, and they do need a job, and they want to stay busy," Scherber said.
Scherber says as her employees age, it's important to change the workflow from heavy duty to light duty and offer a flexible schedule.
"We try to be attentive to the needs of our staff and make sure that their jobs are what they can handle," she said.
Employee Jorge Grande is 57 years young and says he's not in any rush to retire.
"I'm feeling good, you know, because I have a couple of more years to work," he said.
For Scherber, that's the icing on the cake.