Alliant Techsystems Reviews | Glassdoor

Alliant Techsystems Reviews

Updated March 6, 2017
212 reviews

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212 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • 9/80 work week, there was plenty of work and it was interesting, people were generally friendly, very good benefits package (in 13 reviews)

  • Good work-life balance - except for some unavoidable crunch times (to be expected) (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • tunnel vision management and top heavy (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good work life balance."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lab Technician in Radford, VA
    Former Employee - Lab Technician in Radford, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good pay and good benefits. 12 hr shifts equal a nice amount of time off. Better pay than any other Lab Tech job around.

    Cons

    Management showed too much favoritism to certain hourly employees. Management didn't care about the uneven workload as long as the work got done.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Project Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Independence, MO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Independence, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Alliant Techsystems full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits, work life balance

    Cons

    Do not value employees at all

    Advice to Management

    Do not hire new employees knowing that they will be laid off due to a company merger. They may have left a good job for that role. Be honest.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Run away!!!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - MACHINE TECH in Independence, MO
    Former Employee - MACHINE TECH in Independence, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    pay and benefits and close to home

    Cons

    no leadership management only cares about bonuses and not about the company


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

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Seek employment else where"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Fabrication Tech in Beltsville, MD
    Current Employee - Fabrication Tech in Beltsville, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    Invest in your people and they will drive your business.


  7. "Poorly managed"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Production in Independence, MO
    Former Employee - Production in Independence, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good hardworking employees, decent wages

    Cons

    No respect for employees. Not appreciated.


  8. "Operations Engineer's career trapdoor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Operations Engineer in Monrovia, CA
    Former Employee - Operations Engineer in Monrovia, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  9. "Overall, pretty good"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineering in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Engineering in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Good pay does not make a job good"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Keyser, WV
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Keyser, WV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  11. "Engineering Test Tech"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Alliant Techsystems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good fun place to work. Good pay and benefits.

    Cons

    Management need to change or the company will not survive. Get rid of the "Good O Boys Club".

    Advice to Management

    Change. Don't put people into management just because he is a good guy!


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