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Nominations for Missouri’s Older Worker of the Year

Perhaps she is makes you feel welcome when she greets you at your favorite store. Maybe he delivers meals to fellow seniors, even when it is pouring rain or the bitter cold seeps through layers of clothing.

If you know a senior citizen age 65 or older who works at least 20 hours a week, consider nominating him or her for Missouri’s Older Worker of the Year contest. The annual contest honors employed senior citizens who display dependability and new skills on the job.

The winner and regional finalists will be recognized at a two-day awards ceremony in September in Jefferson City. 

“Older workers go above and beyond the call of duty every day,” said Margaret Donnelly, director of the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), which is a sponsor of the contest. “They’re an asset to any organization. I urge Missouri employees to think about their older co-workers and nominate one of them for this award.”

Nominees must be paid employees. Enrollees in Title V programs and Workforce Investment Act (WIA) participants are not eligible.

Nomination forms for 2009’s Older Worker of the Year are available on the DHSS Web site, In addition to the name and address of the nominee and job information, nominators are asked for a narrative indicating why they believe their nominee should be selected as the state’s Outstanding Older Worker. The narrative must include a description of what the nominee has contributed to the business and a description of new skills the nominee has learned since beginning employment with the business. The nomination forms must be signed by the employer and by the nominee. Forms and accompanying narratives must be postmarked, faxed or e-mailed by Aug. 1 to Missouri Older Worker Contest, Division of Senior and Disability Services, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570. The fax number is 573-522-3024. Or e-mail nominations to

Last year’s Older Worker of the Year was Jean Hines. At 84, Hines works at Carden Machine Shop in Sullivan, finishing parts for aircraft including the F-18 Hornet and the Osprey helicopter deployed in Iraq. Some of the parts are worth $6,000 each. A few seconds of grinding in the wrong area can result in the part being scrapped, but Hines has never ruined one. In seven years, she has never been late or missed a day of work.

This year’s statewide winner recognition activities will be scheduled during the month of September. The winner will serve as the Goodwill Ambassador at other major statewide events. For more information, contact the Division of Senior and Disability Services at 573-526-4542.

Now in its 19th year, the annual Older Worker of the Year recognition is sponsored by the Missouri Senior Employment Coordinating Committee, consisting of the AARP Foundation; Experience Works; Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph; MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries; Department of Economic Development/Division of Workforce Development; and the Department of Health and Senior Services/Division of Senior and Disability Services.

Paula Barr is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 172 or at

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