MERS/Goodwill has kicked-off its annual statewide search for all-star older workers.

The 23rd annual Missouri Older Worker of the Year contest began in August. The contest is meant to “Unleash the Power of Age,” which is also the encouraging theme this year.

The contest seeks to honor Missouri residents who are at least 65 years of age and gainfully employed at a Missouri job site for an average of 20 or more hours per week. This year, there will be 10 winners from all over Missouri.

MERS/Goodwill will be coordinating the contest in the St. Louis area and St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin counties.

“This contest serves as a thank you to those who dedicate their time and energy to better our community through their vocations, particularly older workers,” said Dr. Lewis Chartock, president and CEO of MERS/Goodwill. “MERS/Goodwill is proud to cosponsor the contest again this year as a tribute to workers whose wisdom, punctuality and commitment to quality, set high standards in the work force.”

Nomination forms for 2013’s Older Worker of the Year are available on MERS/Goodwill’s website,

Completed forms are due by Aug. 23. Each qualifying nomination will then be reviewed by the selection committee and a winner will be selected from each region.

The theme, “Unleash the Power of Age,” was adopted from this year’s Older Americans’ Month theme highlighted by the Administration on Aging.

The winners will be invited to attend a two-day award ceremony in Jefferson City, although a date is still pending.

The annual contest is sponsored by the Missouri Senior Employment Coordinating Committee, consisting of the AARP Foundation; Experience Works, Inc.; Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph; MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries; the Department of Economic Development/Division of Workforce Development; and the Department of Health and Senior Services/Division of Senior and Disability Services.

For more information, people should visit

About MERS/Goodwill

MERS/Goodwill is a non-profit agency that provides for the vocational needs of individuals who have barriers to employment through disability or economic disadvantage. Annually serving more than 50,000 individuals, the organization operates in 61 locations serving 74 counties in the bistate area.

Revenues from 42 Goodwill stores assist with funding MERS/Goodwill job training and employment services. MERS/Goodwill is a proud member of the United Way.

For more information about MERS/Goodwill or to find a Goodwill donation center near you, call 314-241-3464 or visit