USRA Reviews | Glassdoor

USRA Reviews

Updated November 4, 2017
41 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

3.3
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Jeffrey A. Isaacson, Ph.D.
13 Ratings

41 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

  1. Helpful (1)

    "NASA's contractor workforce - the blame game starts here."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Project Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Assistant Project Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at USRA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    You get to work on NASA projects without the career benefits of civil servant employment.

    No one has any expectations of you working for the company long term.

    If you are a woman, veteran, or a minority, this is a good way to build relationships with NASA civil servants who could support your job application to NASA.

    You are paid well to obey your real bosses - ie NASA civil servants. God forbid if you disagree with NASA's project mindset.

    Work here if you enjoy seeing your peers within NASA advance through the ranks. Cheer their successes while you morn your failure to advance within USRA.

    Cons

    This company is all about generating profits from NASA contracts. Many years ago, people in DC wanted to reduce employment liabilities - ie retirement benefits - so they massively increased contractor staff within NASA. USRA is one of those companies.

    USRA doesn't really sell a product - you are that product. They re-sell your time and effort and markup the cost of you and your benefits to NASA. NASA , in turn, will rebid contracts so what work USRA has one year, they may not have another year. If you stay with a certain contract - say a science or engineering contract - you lose. You lose seniority, wages, benefits in a big race to the bottom.

    Do NOT use these position for anything other than short term assignments.

    Do NOT use these position for working on any NASA mission in development which could be cancelled the very next year.

    USRA will very reluctantly support any continuing education for you. You will never gain any business in-sight. You will never learn anything from the company unless you invest in yourself.

    Advice to Management

    Great to see government retirees gainfully employed - again.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Good company"

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

    I have been working at USRA full-time

    Pros

    Good growth opportunities within the company

    Cons

    Management could handle situations better

  3. Helpful (2)

    "A career to no where ..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Researcher in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Staff Researcher in San Jose, CA
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at USRA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    A great place to double dip if you are a Nasa retiree with plenty of government contacts and the inside track on federal RFPs.

    Cons

    Avoid this group like the plague if you are building your career. You will Zero career growth opportunities. Multiple government employees junior to you will see their careers blossom while you are treading water with below inflation wage increases. If you absolutely need a job, by all means take one. Immediately start looking for your next positions. NASA employees don’t respect this company and will not respect you either. Working for USRA any longer that 18 months will derail your career growth. There are so many better alternatives within government agencies and industry. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

    Advice to Management

    Stop pretending you care about employees.


  4. "Company Is Growing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very interesting work, good pay and benefits and great work/life balance. Leadership is attempting to make necessary changes and as always people are resistant to change. The company is growing and evolving this is never easy, old culture of laissez-faire needs to go.

    Cons

    Pushback to keep things as they were is stifling progress

    Advice to Management

    Keep pushing for good changes.


  5. Helpful (6)

    "USRA Can't Get Out Of Its Own Way"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    USRA is a versatile organization that does great science in the field. It is because of the quality of work in the field, USRA can compete with major government contractors as a organization of approximently 500 staff. STEM Education initiative is getting high visibility and attention. It seems that a demand has been met with the STEM center at USRA Headquarters. There are great individuals working for USRA throughout the organization.
    *The pros are the only thing keeping this review from being 1 star or less.

    Cons

    All in all it is a very tough place to have to come into the office everyday. The top management does not trust employees and the approach feels as though nearly everyone is easily replaceable. So the good talent is leaving and aren't getting replaced. I believe that the top management level are not what I would consider leaders. They lack the ability to inspire and empower staff. There are leaders throughout the other levels of the organization, however they are not heard and not empowered to get their jobs done without having to flow operations through top management.

    Advice to Management

    Stop talking to staff and start listening to others. There is great potential here if the actual leaders are able to tap into it. Show some passion for the work that USRA does on a day to day basis. Lastly, stop directing work for USRA with the undertone of fear. Change the direction of the message and you will be surprised with the results.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Disability benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Scientist
    Former Employee - Scientist
    Recommends

    I worked at USRA full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    USRA's insurance was great for my short and long-term disability benefits (unrelated to my job). The management was also very supportive.

    Cons

    I'd say raises aren't great typically


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Unique opportunities for civilians in DoD"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Intern in Albuquerque, NM
    Current Employee - Intern in Albuquerque, NM
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at USRA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Very good career fair and networking opportunities

    Cons

    - Mentors and projects can be inconsistent.

    Advice to Management

    mgmt does a very good job

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work and continuing to improve"

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

    I have been working at USRA full-time

    Pros

    Nice people and very interesting work. Also great that this company is committed to funding college prep courses for kids interested in STEM from undeserved schools. Very flexible schedule and good benefits add to the great work life balance. If you are committed to what you do and do your best you'll go far.

    Cons

    Commute during rush hour is pretty bad

    Advice to Management

    Keep making good changes


  9. Helpful (7)

    ""USRA HR+Management rented a whole building.... for 5 people in Mtn View""

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

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

    Pros

    Huh? I was hired by people under UARC, which was a UCSC + NASA thing. UCSC never got in the way of our day-to-day work, whereas USRA screens *personal emails* and makes ridiculous policy punishments. USRA taking over UARC projects has been a very big mistake and a big liability to the current people who transferred from UARC to USRA.

    What pros?

    Cons

    Aside from the management grossly over-estimating their importance to research, expect these people to monitor every facet of your social media, and even your personal emails (gmail) that go through the NASA wifi on whatever research center you're working on.

    I've discovered that research contracting has a lot of conflicts-of-interest, and I would not be surprised if USRA was sued or becomes in engulfed in litigation over the next year.

    I have to give this company *at least a 1 star rating*, even if USRA does not deserve it. I cannot give them a lower rating due to the sites features.

    USRA aren't scientists, they are SUITS. Stay far far way.

    Advice to Management

    Just admit that you're a bunch of patent trolls and a lobbying firm; a political organization, not a scientific one.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Could Be GREAT, but missing the mark!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Moffett Field, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Moffett Field, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The various sciences are great.

    Cons

    Management just doesn't get it. There are ways to improve your employees moral and it doesn't cost a lot.

    Advice to Management

    Take better care of your employees. They are who got you where you are!


Showing 41 of 45 reviews
Reset Filters