2020 NORA Symposium


2020 NORA Online Symposium

April 30, 2020

The 2020 National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Online Symposium was held via online webinar on April 30, 2020. The theme for the symposium was “Productive Aging and Work: Creating an Age-friendly Workplace” and featured Dr. James Grosch (Co-Director of NIOSH’s Center for Productive Aging and Work).

Dr. Grosch engaged online participation and included practical tips, planning tools and resources for business and organizations. He highlighted real world examples of employers implementing age-friendly changes that were cost-effective, and had significant results. One such example was a BMW factory which retrofitted the plant to accommodate older workers.


  • Describing current demographic trends and health outcomes associated with an aging workforce.
  • Defining “productive aging” and describing how it is relevant workers of all age groups.
  • Applying the components of the work ability model to setting goals for meeting the needs of aging workers.
  • Identifying and explaining at least three strategies that can be incorporated into the workplace in order to create a more age-friendly environment.

The online setting offered a greater reach and diversity of participants from across the country.  Nearly 150 participants attended the online forum from various states and disciplines including academia, health care, government agencies, businesses (insurance, human resources) and nonprofits.




Jim GroschJames Grosch, PhD
Senior Research Psychologist
Co-Director, Center for Productive Aging and Work

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

James Grosch has a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology and an M.B.A., both from the University of New Hampshire. His work at NIOSH focuses on better understanding how behavioral and work organization factors affect workers’ safety and health.  Recent projects include: changes in health and cognitive ability that workers experience as they age, characteristics of age-friendly workplaces, job stressors associated with increased risk of heart disease and depression, and the impact of job transitions (e.g., retirement, being laid off) on both physical and mental health outcomes.

The NORA Symposium was co-sponsored by the Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety Education and Research Center (MCOHS) and the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH).