Astro Machine Works, Inc. Becomes 100% Employee Owned to Benefit its Customers and Employees

Ephrata, PA – Astro Machine Works, Inc., an industry leader in the manufacturing of custom automation machinery and CNC machining is now 100% employee owned through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Trust, giving all current and future employees full ownership of the company. Astro Machine will continue to operate under its existing Open Book Management (OBM) business model and will retain the current management structure.

“The ESOP transaction is the next logical step for our company, which has embraced complete transparency with our employees since the OBM program was introduced in 2007,” said Eric Blow, president and CEO of Astro Machine. “This will have a very positive impact on the company and further strengthen the already outstanding loyalty and comradery among our team members. We have enjoyed very high employee engagement and low single digit turnover but complete employee ownership will raise the bar once again, and only strengthen their commitment and appreciation for our growing customer base. I am so honored to have played a small part in helping to orchestrate this next chapter in the continuing Astro story which started back in 1984. This will truly be a life-changing event for our valued employees and will provide our customers with an elevated level of service through even higher employee enthusiasm and commitment. This was the perfect succession plan for Astro Machine Works and rewards the hard working men and women who helped get us where we are today. I am so very happy for them and their families and look forward to seeing them enjoy the fruits of their labor.”

An ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) is a qualified retirement plan which is known to generate significant retirement benefits for its participants. ESOP plans have been commonly used as a succession planning tool and to reward employees whose hard work was directly responsible for the success of the company. It is also a documented fact that employee owned companies enjoy greatly increased engagement, productivity and innovation over their non-employee owned peers. According to the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) can be found in all sizes of companies. Some of the more notable majority employee-owned companies are Publix Super Markets (182,500 employees) and W.L. Gore and Associates (maker of Gore-Tex, 10,000 employees). Companies with ESOPs account for well over half of Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work for in America" list year after year.

ESOPs keep jobs in the local community and business owner legacies alive. Business owners who choose to sell their businesses to an ESOP keep jobs in the local community as opposed to businesses who sell out to competitors who frequently restructure the organization cutting jobs. Studies have shown that when ESOP companies who continuously explain the long-term benefits of the ESOP and build an “ownership culture” grow 6-11% fast than their peers.

About Astro Machine Works, Inc. - Astro Machine Works Inc. is a custom machine builder and a leader in prototype machining and CNC Machining of Metals and Plastics. Astro covers a wide range of industries including Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical, Medical, Aerospace, Food Processing, and Government & Telecommunications. We are constantly upgrading our machining capabilities and quality to provide exceptional value to our customers. We will continue to provide superior solutions through our dedicated people and innovative technology. For more information, call (717) 738-4281 or visit our website astromachineworks.com.

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