Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory Reviews

Updated July 24, 2015
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2.9
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Morgan Smith
14 Ratings

35 Employee Reviews

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  1. Senior Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in Schenectady, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in Schenectady, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great Job Security. Excellent training opportunities. Outstanding computer facilities.

    Cons

    Overbearing security and work process controls. Poor salary increases.

    Advice to Management

    Be more concerned with empolyee moral rather than just being a parrot for the government customer.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Not bad

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    9/80 and co-workers are great. You really get close. Really the perfect first job for a college grad. The masters degree program is also really nice.

    Cons

    No electronics is the big one. On slow days you will go insane trying to find something to do.

    Advice to Management

    I'd say get electronics but I highly doubt the government will allow that so nothing really.


  3. senior engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Glenville, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Glenville, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    People are nice. Family friendly culture.

    Cons

    Too many managers with too many regulation make the community stiff and bureaucratic.


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  5. Mixed bag of nuts

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

    I have been working at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    1.Benefits are probably the best in the area 2.Work/life balance is great.

    Cons

    1.Underpaid 2.Government bureaucracy prevents change 3.Culture isn't the best (although they are trying to improve it, however, see number 2)


  6. Helpful (1)

    Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Ballston Spa, NY
    Current Employee - Engineer in Ballston Spa, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Rapid growth and career development for those who dedicate themselves High expectations of new employees Excellent technical and leadership training program Family first environment Management supports you and is involved High trust and inter-dependency between co-workers New challenges and rewarding experiences daily

    Cons

    Confusing relationships between contractors, subcontractors, & military workers Often knee-jerk responses to issues Confusing requirements and several barriers to change (strict environment of tradition and legacy) Civilians often forget they're not in the military (and treat you so)

    Advice to Management

    Adding requirements does not equate to leadership; it's often better to simplify processes. Continue to create an environment where personnel feel comfortable exposing weaknesses.


  7. Great place for entry level engineers

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Engineer in Schenectady, NY
    Current Employee - Associate Engineer in Schenectady, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    As a new engineer I can speak from experience that KAPL is a perfect environment for recent graduates entering the work force. A list of pros: - Friendly environment - Challenging and rewarding projects - Plenty of opportunities to further your technical and professional knowledge

    Cons

    Probably the biggest downside to working here is the limited access to personal electronics. A lot of hoops must be jumped through to do something that outside work would take no time at all.

    Advice to Management

    Keep working through the necessary steps to modernize KAPL.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Good stepping stone for a career.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineering Technician in Niskayuna, NY
    Current Employee - Engineering Technician in Niskayuna, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    People I work with. Technical work assignments. 9/80 work schedule.

    Cons

    Slow pace of work. Numerous regulations and excessive fear of risk. Being hired in under the impression I'd be getting a pension, only to find out they'd done away with it 7 years prior to being hired.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the employees on the floor who are actually performing the day to day work, and stop putting individuals in management/leadership positions who have no backbone. Start giving better raises to compete with outside industry, and incentivize people so that they will want to stay with the company.


  9. Helpful (7)

    Run away now....

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in Niskayuna, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in Niskayuna, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Well i would say the pros of KAPL are the 9/80 schedule and the people. Because you don't have to do a lot of work and are not forced to do anything, you can sit around and hang with your co-workers for hours a day trading stories, so you get to know them well. Also, the 9//80 schedule is great for the employees, but let's face it, KAPL is not getting 40 hours a week of productivity in this schedule, they get 4 days one week and 4.5 the next. And oh, your colleagues who work a 40 hour work week cover for you each and every Friday. The mission is and probably will be the biggest pro, its pretty neat seeing sailors around the lab. The employees that have been at the lab for 30+ years also have some great stories about "back in the day".

    Cons

    Well where to start... for one as you can imagine if people are spending hours on a coffee break everyday and sitting around in a circle trading stories, not much work is getting done. At times I worked hard and was diligent, at other times I did roughly 1 hour of work a day and then sat around and talked for the rest of the day, I kid you not I had more success the less i actually did. If you are diligent and want to get involved in finding solutions to problems or helping out your co-workers, there work will become yours, so its much better just to try and stay away from as much as you can and focus on the few items that are your responsibility. Every once in a while take a six sigma or sight shift class, use the words "thought leadership" or "enterprise" or "autonomy" and before you know if, you'll be a management favorite. What's missing in all of the above is actual technical and management skills, here they go under appreciated and are frowned upon. There is barely any access to "outside" technical training so literally people don't get out to expand and develop their technical skills. . In order to get approved for a seminar you actually have to apply a year in advance so it gets in the budget, no joke, and then likely you will spend hours filling out the paperwork to go, then it might be denied because the budget gets cut. And then there is the complete waste of tax payer money, something you spend $5,000 on in the "outside" suddenly becomes $100,000. If you raise your hand and say something about it, you will just get grief for holding up the schedule and causing problems. The day is coming where the dollars will need to be accounted for... I can see the 60 minutes episode now. What else? The lack of raises and promotions is a joke. If you want to move up, the way to do it is get under the wing of a more senior person, do everything they say and then you get put into a higher paying job. Sometimes, a job that you have not interest in or are totally unqualified for but don't worry do exactly as you are told., get back in line. Working here was a joke and did nothing for my career long-term, it just made me frustrated and slowed down my career growth. If you want a job where you can punch the clock every day, work 30 years and retire and you are ok with keeping your month shut when you see unethical and immoral behavior this place I'm sure is great. If you a talented, charismatic person looking to have a fulfilling career that makes a different and adds to the world we live in, you soul will literally be crushed here.

    Advice to Management

    You are in serious trouble, the talented people are walking out the door and you are left with the people that can't leave. This is not the atmosphere that made the lab what it is, promote and acknowledge the people that should be, its very easy to see who they are and who they aren't. Stop having ridiculous training on empowering employees and ethics, instead hire and embrace the people in the lab that actually have these traits, but then again if the management doesn't have these traits I doubt they would even recognize it.......


  10. Great people to work with. Slow work but comfortable environment.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in Niskayuna, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in Niskayuna, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Your personal time is respected and nobody puts pressure on you to work when you need to leave early. There's a lot of different work happening at KAPL so as an engineer you should be able to find something you enjoy doing. 9/80 work schedule is pretty cool.

    Cons

    The pay isn't great and the salary freeze for the past 4 years didn't help. You can't bring any personal electronics to work (including phones, mp3 players, etc). The pace is pretty slow most of the time (which could be a pro or con depending on your perspective). Lack of job satisfaction; there is little recognition for completion of a project and there's not really any incentive to work more other than personal satisfaction.

    Advice to Management

    Ask a lot of specific questions of your employees to see what they want out of the job and how they feel about the work they're doing. Otherwise, you'll never know if they're leaving or why they left.


  11. Great place to stay

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Niskayuna, NY
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Niskayuna, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Longevity of positions, training in a variety of fields.

    Cons

    Compensation, work life balance was promised but not delivered. Required to work overtime much more than lead to believe.



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