At 97-years old, Mary Poncin of Warwick, RI, finds herself with a new job greeting the public at Kent Hospital, after a nearly 17 month period of unemployment which began after she was laid off in January 2010 from a retail sales position.
“I get thousands of job applications a year here at Kent, but I could tell Mary really wanted to work and that there was something special about her,” said David Campbell, senior vice president of human resources at Kent Hospital. “Although Mary is 97, that does not mean she is incapable of good work performance. We don’t discriminate here at Kent. There’s a minimum age to work here, 16, but there’s no maximum. We had a need for her, so I wanted to give her a shot.”
Poncin began her many years of employment in the 1930s at a Rhode Island diner, where she worked as a waitress, earning $1 a day. After holding many different positions throughout her lifetime, she now serves as Kent’s official greeter welcoming patients who come into the hospital’s main entrance. She offers a friendly hello, provides directions and other information and services to patients and visitors who may need it.