Astronautics Reviews | Glassdoor

Astronautics Reviews

Updated June 10, 2017
40 reviews

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Ronald E. Zelazo
21 Ratings

40 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)

    "Nice Sized Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Milwaukee, WI
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Milwaukee, WI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Astronautics full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The company is large enough that there are opportunities to stretch your legs and try new things but not so large that it is overcome with bureaucracy.
    While working here I have had the opportunity to work as a software developer, FPGA designer, systems engineer and research and design lead. I don't think you'll get such an opportunity at a place like GE.
    The people are really nice and there are many long term employees which shows the company cares for people.
    I have really enjoyed working at Astronautics.

    Cons

    The area isn't the best, but the company is looking to move at some point. They also have fenced in parking areas and security guards.


  2. "engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Milwaukee, WI
    Current Employee - Engineer in Milwaukee, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Astronautics full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    I do not recommend to work in this company to anyone .

    Cons

    Management are not honest, not exact and lying to much.

    Advice to Management

    To hire employee necessary more responsible

  3. Helpful (3)

    "On a downward spiral..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Astronautics full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Due to the small size of the company, there are opportunities to move around and try different positions in different departments. Also, in most salaried positions you get the perk of a flexible schedule as long as you're putting the time in, so the work life balance is pretty good. One of the things that attracted me to the company was the group of long-term, brilliant, hard-working individuals that seemed to be the glue of the place, but it seems that group is tired of being disrespected so they are quickly running elsewhere.

    Cons

    Number one is executive management. There is poor communication (i.e. he said she said, no accountability) and disrespect among the group, which is then relayed down to the next layer of management, and on and on, and it makes for a very tense environment. The business groups have chased off a large percentage of critical folks in the last six months, and there are more lining up at the door. Engineering groups are tired of the mass chaos which is caused by poor organization from the business side, so many of them are leaving too. Number two is headquarters location. It is dangerous, and neither management or HR seems to take it seriously. Locals will break through the "secure parking lot" fences in the middle of the day and steal car parts and they think it is best to keep it hush hush. They've been talking about a building move for years, and once again, that has been put on the back burner because the business is struggling.

    Advice to Management

    Stop talking to your "valued employees" with utter disrespect, and maybe show a little appreciation occasionally for the hard work they do for you. It is appalling the amount of times I have heard upper management talk to employees like they are toddlers being put in time out. Start having conversations with your people, and treat them like people. Step up and be leaders, not dictators. Since the CEO is the only one who makes the big decisions, it would probably be helpful if he was remotely involved at Astronautics.


  4. Helpful (8)

    "Severe Abuse on Cultural Grounds, and Age Discrimination"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Drafter Designer in Milwaukee, WI
    Former Employee - Drafter Designer in Milwaukee, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Normal work schedule
    There are some nice people working at this company

    Cons

    My father gave this company over ten years of his life. He holds a Master's Degree from a reputable accredited university overseas, and was fully qualified for the position that was offered to him in the early 2000s. Since there was a language barrier due to a recent immigration (fresh off the boat) and little experience in conversational English, they have decided to completely disregard his professional technical qualifications and offer him a laughable rate of an entry level cashier, to which he had no choice but agree, considering the whole family's state of financial despair and insecurity. By doing this, they have demonstrated disrespect towards his very person-hood, disqualifying him as a professional and depriving him from an adequate salary that should have reflected his strong expertise in the field, and human worth in general.

    Since my father is a humble, very responsible father, husband, and a hard working man, he would dutifully come to work with a soldier's precision, unfailingly, day by day, demonstrating high level of professionalism and diligence. His rare and humble attempts to get slightly promoted or get a raise in a salary for a couple of dollars were constantly suppressed and discouraged, while his job security had been constantly - and in an escalating manner - threatened.

    Around two years ago this company hires a new manager/supervisor who is put in charge of hiring and firing procedures, and without a blink in the eye, he fires my father; their whole management claims that this decision is based on the choice of majority.

    During his last months at work the management had been insisting that there isn't much work to do, very few projects, meanwhile enthusiastically hiring young people - recent college graduates.

    Perhaps some business-driven enthusiasts would blatantly interpret this as a logical and necessary measure to improve business flow by injecting young blood into corporation's vessels, but the truth is surprisingly different. These cynical measures work for a very limited time period, but in the long run it severely compromises the company's reputation and puts a very dark and ugly mark on it that is impossible to erase or disguise.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to business owners: avoid hiring management with poorly developed sense of justice and honor. By doing this you help spreading vanity disease that severely affects the quality of life of ordinary people....and the number of those hurt souls with broken hopes has been devastatingly increasing.

    My father deserves a moral compensation for what has been done to him for all of those years at your company.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Challenging work, fair treatment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Milwaukee, WI
    Current Employee - Engineer in Milwaukee, WI
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Decent work life balance (most of the time)
    - Flexibility with working hours to deal with occasional personal matters
    - Opportunities for career advancement w/ tuition reimbursement
    - Convenient location close to downtown
    - Casual work attire (jeans OK)

    Cons

    - Management would rather save a few bucks rather than buy tools to help people get their job done
    - No telecommuting (unless its for overtime)
    - Products are cool, but very slow pace of development with lots of processes
    - Silos between departments
    - Engineering is the dog wagged by business development and operations tail
    - Frequent poor planning by upper management leads to crises for everyone else
    - Layoffs every few years - employees are used & discarded when convenient

    Advice to Management

    Keep working on making the company modern. I dream of the 90's, but not for my workplace.


  6. Helpful (11)

    "Stay away."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Milwaukee, WI
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Milwaukee, WI
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good for just out of college experience, but don't make it your career.

    Cons

    - Nepotism x 1000. All the upper management is either born from or married into the owners and CEOs families. Unqualified family members are promoted aggressively over more qualified people. If someone has a Director/VP title or better, just look at the family tree.
    - HQ is basically located in a crime scene. Employees have been car jacked at gun point just trying to leave the parking lots. Security guards are routinely mugged. It says a lot that they have a parking lot that's about 1.5 blocks from the building. HR will get all upset with you if you decide to just walk and not wait for their van to come pick you up and drive you that 1.5 blocks to the building.... which comes to the next point.
    - HR lies like crazy. YES they have security write down people's license plates as they come and leave the parking lots. YES the HR department is right in the front of the building and they watch out the windows and note people coming and going. They lie about the crime in the area. Just don't believe anything they say. Employees are on a "need to know" basis. They would save a lot of sweat and anguish if they just bought and implemented card readers and treated "security" less like grade school hall monitors and tattle tales.
    - salaries are 20%+ less than the competition in the city
    - 401k has very high fees
    - they keep family members on salary after they have "retired"
    - never feel secure. they lay people off with zero notice to them or even their direct report, and they'll do this to 20+ people at a time gutting project teams. I've seen it happen where they just call all 20+ people to a conference room and just hand them an envelop and say "this is how you apply for unemployment".
    - When you leave, don't count on getting any kind of recommendation from anyone there. They have a policy where current employees are not allowed to give recommendations.

    Advice to Management

    You might think your kids are super great, but getting fresh opinions and ideas might also help. Be more upfront to employees in general. Finally move HQ to a safe neighborhood.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "It's not an adventure, it's a job. But a fairly decent one."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Milwaukee, WI
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Milwaukee, WI
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Astronautics full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Astronautics is not a bad place to work. The people are pretty decent. Atmosphere is usually pretty laid back. There are some very smart people here with lots of learning opportunities. Also some pretty cool projects to work on. Pay and benefits are reasonable. If you want to just settle into a comfortable position and coast along, this is a pretty good place to do it. That probably explains why there are so many long term employees here.

    Cons

    Be prepared to stay in one position for a while. If you do take on some project responsibility, don't expect to see much financial gain out of it. Also, the area is very depressed so its not the kind of place you would be proud to show off to your friends and family.

    Advice to Management

    It would be nice to get a better location but its pretty understandable why we just stay here. New facilities are expensive and with an uncertain economy, things are much more secure where we are at. My advice to management would be to just tell people that instead of dangling the carrot of a new building when the subject comes up. Also, coming up with some job descriptions and job titles that indicate some career progression would be a good way to help boost morale.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "A changing workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Astronautics part-time

    Pros

    They build some exciting things.

    Cons

    Some of the personalities are difficult.

    Advice to Management

    Limit the amount that some personalities can influence the actions of other departments.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Interesting work, but company policies from the fifties"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Astronautics full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Interesting aerospace projects, and your work will make a noticeable contribution.
    Balance between large projects and smaller short term ones, keeps the work fresh.
    Managers are approachable and easy to work with.
    Coworkers mostly enjoy their jobs

    Cons

    The neighborhood is terrible. Do not feel safe outside the building. In fact the guards have been mugged in recent past, and an employee mugging seems to happen every few months. There have been a dozen reported shootings in the last 3-4 months within a mile of the building.
    It is difficult to get the tools needed to do your job. I have been known to take work home so I can design on tools I have there, such as Visio. Recent policy is to avoid free utilities, but there is no process to acquire needed tools, like good text editors, hex editors, python, etc.
    Upper management has been traditionally tight on supplies as well. This has been loosening up in the last few years, but it can still be hard to find something as basic as a binder clip.
    Pay seems stagnant. Many folks I speak with have seen 1% raises in 4 years. Benefits are a bit skimpy.

    Advice to Management

    You have a good engineering group. You need to concentrate on letting them do their job without interference and work instead on leveraging that work into new contracts.

    Training should be encouraged and ongoing, not something the employee is expected to do on his time and dime.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "In the most unsafe neighboorhood in Wisconsin."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Astronautics full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Opportunity to work on decent technology.

    Cons

    Someone was robbed at gunpoint on company property.
    Low pay, benefits are a joke.

    Advice to Management

    Move the company to a safer location. 2/3 employees in the engineering department are interviewing at other companies that should tell you something.


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