Alliant Techsystems Reviews

Updated March 10, 2015
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2.7
182 Reviews
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Alliant Techsystems President, CEO, and Director Mark W. DeYoung
Mark W. DeYoung
62 Ratings

Pros
  • Great benefits, good pay and vacation including health insurance (in 13 reviews)

  • The company has fairly good benefits but the medical costs are quite steep for a large company (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • Difficult to move up in management unless related to or friends with members of upper management (in 15 reviews)

  • High overhead, poor management in an extremely competitive low growth industry (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. ATK (Now "Orbital ATK") operates the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant which makes ammo for the U.S. armed forces.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Operation Supervisor - Explosives - Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in East Independence, MO
    Former Employee - Operation Supervisor - Explosives - Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in East Independence, MO

    I worked at Alliant Techsystems

    Pros

    Decent Pay, decent job-specific training. Overtime pay available regularly. Paid health ins. match part of 401k.

    Cons

    Expect up to 12 hour shifts that can change in the matter of a few days. Sometimes a lot of overtime, other times lay off up to 20% of the workforce for lack of demand for product. Short notice on complete shift" change makes it difficult to arrange child care and other factors of personal life. Company recently spun off it's profitable "sporting" division and moved it to Utah. Outlook for remaining "military" and space exploration portions seems a little bleak as U.S. doesn't deploy as many small arms carrying Boots on the Ground troops as they used to in the past and space programs seem to be shutting down.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to design some shift stability into personnel and shift change decisions. Upper management needs better communication with front line management to encourage quicker and more efficient production changes. Encourage management to embrace commercial small arms market a lot more to ensure the health of the local production at Lake City plant.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. Seek employment else where

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Fabrication Tech in Beltsville, MD
    Current Employee - Fabrication Tech in Beltsville, MD

    I have been working at Alliant Techsystems full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Paychecks are on time and most work areas are climate controlled.

    Cons

    The company has seen 4 lay off's in the past year. They don't offer any formal training so if you don't come into the job and are able to pick it up immediately they will most likely get rid of you. They are only concerned with how cheap they can run the operation and the upper management is out of touch with how the processes actually work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your people and they will drive your business.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. An Ok to Good company to work for..

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer
    Current Employee - Engineer

    I have been working at Alliant Techsystems full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible schedule - Work/Life balance is good

    Cons

    Unstable market, work load is different from departments to departments

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More technical trainings would be helpful

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
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  5. Poorly managed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Production in Independence, MO
    Former Employee - Production in Independence, MO

    I worked at Alliant Techsystems full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good hardworking employees, decent wages

    Cons

    No respect for employees. Not appreciated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. Operations Engineer's career trapdoor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Operations Engineer in Monrovia, CA
    Former Employee - Operations Engineer in Monrovia, CA

    I worked at Alliant Techsystems full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Legacy employees, at JPL and NASA sites around the world, put out tremendous effort to keep NASA, ESA and other agencies in touch with spacecraft. No alternative communication possible in so many cases.
    Long-term employees are an inspiration, and so willing to teach (and learn) from newer people.

    Cons

    So much work, done by so many, for so few rewards or recognition. ATK misuses this hard-won NASA contract, and the mid-level employees dedication and expertise, giving back nothing. ATK needs the prestige of contracting with NASA, but is OK burning out people, and importing inexperienced management from unrelated business sectors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote from within, abandon current performance review system and policies. Avoid favoritism and other HR blunders. Reward hard work, expertise and experience rather than current practices.
    Hopefully things have improved over the last year.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. Overall, pretty good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineering in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Engineering in Salt Lake City, UT

    I worked at Alliant Techsystems

    Pros

    Good assignments - demanding but good. Usually, you are rewarded for hard work.
    I always went into an assignment with an attitude that I'll do whatever it takes to be successful - long hours, research on my own time, weekends. I was usually recognized for this effort (but not so much in the later years).

    Very smart engineering analytical staff and design staff. Most are willing to teach younger engineers and they have time to do so. As an older engineer, I did.

    New engineers are not normally loaded up too much, but if they stick around for two years they will be, but I think in a good way.

    About half of the Chief Engineers, Project Engineers, and Program Managers came from a record of excellent performance accomplishments in a design or analysis background (the other half not so much - see below).

    Program managers always make time to talk to the analysts and design engineers. They are truly interested in the modeling and simulation results, and I mean the details of inputs, IV&V efforts (credibility), details of results (I was very impressed many times!).

    Good pay and vacation benefits. Above average for sure.

    Good work-life balance - except for some unavoidable crunch times (to be expected).

    Cons

    The company is way too top heavy with too many layers of management, and they are beginning to lose touch with their employees. Back when the company was Thiokol, it was not that way. I was on a first name basis with president of program management who reported directly to the CEO - but that was Thiokol. ATK has become something different.

    Some (NOT ALL) upper management are hoping too much about future projects/programs when they need to get to work and push for many new technologies knowing only some will pay-off (Some do get to work - hard). But they are losing contracts and are depending too much on big government contracts. They talk about innovation, but rarely allow the time and resources to let that happen.

    Some project/chief engineers need to re-do a stint in analysis or design so that they remember tech stuff again. They are depending too much on riding the bureaucracy and hoping nobody notices they don't know what a differential equation is anymore or the fact they never did an analysis or even wrote a computer code.

    I'm worried that management has become too separated from the workers too much, and it will eventually lead to too many disconnects that cause failures (i.e. ALV).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reduce management layers (It will mean management layoff - or moving them back to a worker level). Listen to the engineers and techs doing the real design and assembly work and at least implement some of their recommendations.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful

    Not what I expected

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Alliant Techsystems full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Good money, some good people. 9/80 work schedule means every other weekend is a 3-day weekend.

    Cons

    Information is coveted by individuals and not shared unless it is demanded. Projects are not well managed, which leads to a lot of "by your pants" planning.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create an atmosphere of collaboration

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  9. it was ok

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Alliant Techsystems

    Pros

    the hours were great and that was the best part i guess. It was monday through Friday and it was first shift.

    Cons

    management some of the management were not good with people and or they did not have the proper experience. one manager in particular ran off numerous employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    no thanks

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. Great stepping stone for personal growth.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Manufacturing Engineer I in Clearfield, UT
    Current Contractor - Manufacturing Engineer I in Clearfield, UT

    I have been working at Alliant Techsystems as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Potential of personal career growth due to tuition reimbursement. Use it as a stepping stone to get ahead in your career. Ton of Overtime.

    Cons

    Ton of hours (could be pro or con), management is very unorganized. Need ton of management refinement. Due to contract not enough pay.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Refine upper management, the manufacturing process is discombobulated but getting better. Hold employees responsible for their mistakes.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. Good pay does not make a job good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Keyser, WV
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Keyser, WV

    I worked at Alliant Techsystems full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Interesting work. On-site gym and cafeteria, co-workers nice, working hours good, pay is good for the industry.

    Cons

    Poor leadership, very little support from upper management to provide programs with adequate people to get work completed. Unions push management around. Upper management will relentlessly push sales requirements with no avenue to reach the goals. Women are a minority and rarely part of the good ol boys network. Favoritism runs rampant. Bonus can range from insulting to surprising. Procurement system is incredibly broken and no one with authority will fix it. No real value added professional training. Attitude seemed to be common on plant that upper management is a joke lacking honesty and empathy. They seemed to think that everyone should be happy to have a job that pays pretty good and that is it. The plant no longer has the support it once had with Senator Byrd and has continued to decline in amount of opportunity and contracts since Byrd died.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get off your high horses and treat the people that make your products successful and make you money with more respect. Fix the procurement system.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Alliant Techsystems Photos

ATK Space systems, tall windowless building located at 16707 Via Del Campo Court, San Diego, CA?
ATK Space systems, tall windowless building located at 16707 Via Del Campo Court, San Diego, CA?
Sign outside ATK Space systems located at 16707 Via Del Campo Court, San Diego, CA?

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