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 NORWELL, Mass., March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Increasing workforce diversity and the changing definition of employee benefit programs will be addressed by more than 70 corporate executives, public policy analysts and senior human resource professionals at the Pilgrim Health Care Work & Life Issues conference at Boston's World Trade Center on April 13-15.
 The educational forum is designed to provide an accelerated learning environment in which hundreds of attendees will discuss critical work/life issues affecting the changing needs of America's workforce. National health care initiatives, alternate eldercare and childcare strategies, workforce diversity, and the assessment, measurement and evaluation of work/family programs will be featured topics.
 "The issues which people struggle with each day as employees and as family members are critical to their success both at work and at home. We decided that it was time to take the lead and address these important work/life issues," said Judith Hayes, director of human resources for Pilgrim Health Care. "In the 90's traditional employee benefits need to coalesce in comprehensive programs which address the changing needs of employees' lifestyles."
 Of Americans now entering the workforce, 66 percent are women and 50 percent are parents with children under the age of 18, leading employers to assess the link between lifestyle stress and corporate productivity.
 "Fully 60 percent of New England employers no longer view employee benefits as recruitment perks, but rather as retention perks," according to Ann M. Vincola, co-author of the survey Employee Benefits in a Weak Economy: How New England Employers Are Coping. "Benefits are no longer used as recruiting tools to attract top quality workers. Management now views benefits as key to maintaining morale among members of a downsized workforce."
 National health care initiatives, the changing composition of the workforce and the increased dependence on small businesses to generate new jobs for America have each put the spotlight on corporate benefit programs.
 "Over 90 percent of Americans work for small to mid-sized employers," said Dr. Harris Sussman, a work/life consultant to organizations such as the Ford Foundation. "While in the past Fortune 500 companies may have had the dollars to provide trendsetting employee benefit programs, smaller companies are now finding the dollars to invest in benefits programs because they realize that benefits which reduce turnover and attract top talent can directly impact the bottom line. In today's business world, the interconnected needs of the changing workforce, the organization and its customers must be strategically addressed."
 The Work & Life Issues conference has been developed jointly with the Work/Life Group and Linkage, Inc. Its principal sponsor, Pilgrim Health Care, is one of the largest and fastest growing health benefits organizations in New England, and proudly provides coverage for nearly 300,000 members. With an affiliated network of over 8,500 health care providers and 65 hospitals, Pilgrim Health Care is offered through thousands of client companies.
 -0- 3/23/93
 /CONTACT: Deena Barghothi or Rachelle Reifer, 617-723-8787, both of KCS&A, for Pilgrim Health Care/

CO: Pilgrim Health Care ST: Massachusetts IN: HEA SU:

CH -- NE099 -- 8783 03/23/93 15:26 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 23, 1993

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