AJM Packaging: Should You Work Here?

Should you work for AJM Packaging? Read on for our review of how AJM Packaging measures up as an employer.

2020 was a difficult year for nearly everyone when it came to employment, with many companies and small businesses experiencing significant furloughs, layoffs, or even closing altogether. And, unfortunately, these trends are continuing into 2021, with unemployment continuing to rise and job security feeling shaky for many.

Thus, those looking for employment or hoping to make a shift from one job to another are faced with additional obstacles in the already-challenging landscape of the job search. But, while some companies and industries have been hit extremely hard by the impacts of the pandemic, others have found a way to navigate these difficult times and even continue hiring in the process. 

One company that has emerged as a leader during this time is AJM Packaging, a Michigan-based paper products manufacturer. To keep up with increased demand for disposable plates, cups, and bowls as a result of the pandemic, AJM Packaging announced that they would be hiring for over 200, permanent and full-time positions in Spring of 2020. Since then, AJM has rolled out a bonus plan for eligible employees in communities particularly affected by the pandemic, as well as, continued to prioritize and update safety standards as suggested by the CDC. Separate from the company’s reaction to COVID-19, AJM Packaging is a major US employer (with over 3,000 employees), and prioritizes its customers, employees, and the environment in how it carries out business operations. 

Here, we will take a closer look at AJM Packaging, how the business works overall, benefits, employee reviews, and COVID-19 response, to help you determine if AJM Packaging would be the right next step in your professional journey. 

Company History and Overview

AJM Packaging was founded in 1957 by three brothers from Detroit: Abram, Jack, and Morris Epstein. The brothers had worked together nearly their entire lives, starting with helping out in the family’s grocery store when they were young through WWII, when they continued in the food industry in distribution services. AJM Packaging Corporation was originally headquartered in a brick building on Dix Avenue in Detroit, where the company still manufactures goods today. In 1993, Robert Epstein, Abram’s son, took over as president of the company.

Operating for over 63 years, AJM Packaging is now a major paper product manufacturer, headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, MI. The company is US-based; all the company’s paper products are manufactured, printed, and packaged in the United States. To date, AJM Packaging has over 3,000 employees across eight manufacturing locations. A leader in their industry, AJM produces high-quality branded and private label paper products, including paper plates, bowls, cups, and bags. AJM is the top private label tabletop paper product manufacturer in the US.

AJM Packaging was deemed a “critical infrastructure” business in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the company has not only rolled out stringent safety measures for their frontline employees, but has done the same for interview candidates for the over 200 positions they began hiring for in March to keep up with the increased demand. 

Mission Statement

AJM Packaging has a simple and clear mission statement: “To put our customers first.” The company has allowed this goal to guide its operations over the past 60+ years, showing dedication to this common goal through the quality of its products, prioritization of the safety and growth of its employees, and a dedication to the environment. 

Commitment to Quality Products

AJM is a leading manufacturer of paper products in the United States, and has prioritized the quality of their products in order to ensure customer satisfaction. They have invested heavily in their state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities as they have expanded and they offer a broad range of paper products to meet the personalized needs of their diverse customer base.

Commitment to Employees

Founded in the US, AJM Packaging is a rare company, keeping all of its manufacturing within the United States. Currently, there are over 3,000 employees spread across AJM’s eight manufacturing locations and corporate offices. Beyond keeping jobs within the US – already quite the feat for such a prominent manufacturer – AJM provides its employees with a top tier benefits package. While we will dive into the package more comprehensively later on in our review, it’s worth noting that AJM provides significant opportunities for personal and professional development to its employees, and states that the company “advocates for [employees’] professional learning and growth…No matter what level you are within the company, you will have the chance to make an impact and have your voice heard.”

Additionally, AJM has received significant recognition for its treatment of its employees, including the Employer of the Year recognition in 2018 from SER Metro-Detroit and a Bronze Certification from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency in 2019. 

Commitment to the Environment

In line with its commitment to quality products, AJM has implemented a sustainability policy to confirm the company’s dedication to the environment. As stated in the policy, AJM “employs scientifically, environmentally, socially and economically sustainable practices to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” To meet these goals, AJM’s paper products are made from 100% renewable resources, and all of the company’s paper is sourced from sustainably managed forests. Additionally, AJM recycles all paper waste, and all AJM products – provided they are dry and clean – can be recycled as well.

AJM Packaging’s environmental efforts have been recognized by both the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Forest Stewardship Council, and the company has received certifications from both organizations. 

Primary Locations 

Bloomfield Hills, MI (Corporate Headquarters)

Detroit, MI

Southgate, MI

Taylor, MI

Vineland, NJ

El Cajon, CA

Joplin, MO

Folkston, GA

Benefits

Medical 

One of the biggest benefits at AJM might be its health insurance package. The company offers free, company-paid medical insurance without any payroll deduction. With no payroll deduction, this ensures that all employees are covered with medical insurance while sending them home with a bit more money in their pocket every month, as well as peace of mind. Vision and dental insurance are offered as well.

Not only are health, vision and dental plans offered, but AJM includes a number of other package options that employees can add on. Its full menu of voluntary benefits includes the option for a Flexible Spending Account (FSA for a single employee or family) or a dependent care Flexible Spending Account (FSA for childcare costs). These are extremely helpful options to families that may face higher medical expenses—especially those expanding by having children.

Long-Term Vision for Retirement

When it comes to long-term thinking, retirement packages are a crucial benefit. While most entry-level workers are young and may be unconcerned with retirement issues, AJM knows how important these benefits will be down the road for any employee, particularly with the company’s commitment to employee retention.

AJM offers a 401(k) to all employees and provides a company match after 90 days. The exact match depends on the details of employment.

Growth and Development

AJM is committed to the growth and development of its employees. Within every position, the company works to help encourage long-term thinking for the individual it employs. Many employees have been part of AJM for decades.

Part of long-term success means benefits that work toward personal growth and include a long-term path to professional development. To help individuals increase their professional capabilities, AJM offers help with higher education coverage. Tuition reimbursement is available to all AJM employees after one year of employment. AJM covers up to $5,000 a year to that end, empowering employees to attend classes and get their degrees.

Options for Increased Insurance and Security

Health insurance isn’t the only kind of protection valuable to employees. AJM’s benefits package includes plenty of options to ensure the employee and their family are well taken care of if an unforeseen event occurs. Short-term disability is already included in the typical benefits package, but there are options to add on with benefit features, such as:

  • Additional Term & Whole Life Insurance (single or family)
  • Additional short-term disability (STD) for the employee
  • Option for long-term disability coverage (LTD) for employee
  • Accident Insurance for the employee
  • Critical Illness Insurance for employee

Personal Protection

Employees at AJM Packaging have options to protect their assets. In order to offer the best benefits, AJM makes sure to provide key options for employees to select to upgrade their protection. Some of these protective services include:

  • Pre-Paid Legal protection
  • ID Theft Protection
  • Home & Auto Insurance

Additional Options

AJM offers some additional options for making their employees excited to be a part of the team. Available pet insurance helps pay for the medications and visits that can rack up quickly. Pet insurance is an important benefit for those who have animal companions that are like their family or children. The insurance option enables more security in knowing major bills are not going to stack up if a pet falls ill.

AJM also offers a uniform program and work shoe program to help offset the cost of employee clothing requirements.

FAQs

Our FAQ sections are determined by what people are asking about the most online. While many of the most common questions have been answered elsewhere in the article, we have answered the additional questions below: 

Does AJM hire felons?

Each candidate’s background is reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Human Resources to determine employment eligibility.

Does AJM drug test?

AJM does conduct drug tests on employees within the first 120 days of their start.  The type of drug test given is subject to change and employment location. Previously tests were performed with a mouth swab, however, due to COVID-19, tests are performed with a urine sample.

Does AJM pay weekly? 

AJM pays employees on a bi-weekly basis.

Is AJM hiring? 

Yes. Currently, AJM is currently hiring for manufacturing, plant leadership, corporate, and skilled trades positions. In 2021, AJM intends to hire 200 additional employees across locations, so don’t hesitate to apply!

What is the hiring process at AJM Packaging? 

Candidates interested in employment with AJM can apply via the website www.ajmpack.com/careers, emailing greatjobs@ajmpack.com or by calling 1.833.JOBS.AJM. Several AJM locations hold job hiring events or permit walk-in interviews. 

How old must you be to apply? 

AJM is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates interested in employment with AJM must be 18 years or older to apply.

COVID-19 Response

Internal Safety Standards and Bonus Plan

In recognition of AJM Packaging’s identification as a “critical infrastructure” business, the company implemented several COVID-19 health and safety measures to ensure the safety of its frontline employees while keeping up with increased demand. These measures include providing all employees with clean masks and temperature checks upon each entry into the facilities, closing campuses off to non-employees, and regularly sanitizing communal spaces.

In addition to setting strong health and safety standards for the company’s frontline workers, AJM announced in May that it would implement a plan to provide bonuses up to $1,000 to eligible employees. The “critical infrastructure bonus plan” was established to boost morale, communicate appreciation, and help employees that were in the metro Detroit area in the Spring, which was hit particularly hard by COVID-19 earlier in the pandemic. 

Hiring Practices

Following AJM’s announcement to hire for over 200 new positions, the company formulated and carried out a plan to maintain the safety of both interviewers and job candidates during interviews. Candidates were encouraged to fill out their applications in their vehicles or in the open-air tents where interviews were conducted, and all interviewers and interviewees wore masks. Interview stations were sanitized between each applicants’ interview, and applicants were required to have their temperature taken prior to being interviewed. Robert Epstein, AJM Packaging’s president, stated: “The health and safety of our employees is always our top priority, and that responsibility extends to our applicants, too. This is a busy time for us, but we’re not letting heavy order volume pressure us into sub-par safety measures.”

From Employees

One of the most reliable ways to get information on working for a company is to look at the employee reviews. Below, we have compiled a list of representative reviews written by current AJM employees, sourced from Glassdoor.

Position: Accounts Receivable Manager

Time at Company: 13+ years

Review: “I have worked for AJM for over 13 years. AJM is a company that offers great opportunities for growth within the company… AJM is committed to their employees, they offer excellent benefits. I love working here and look forward to our continued success.”

Position: Picker/Packer

Time at Company: 3+ years

Review: “AJM has benefits that are comparable to Google and large tech companies. It’s family-run, and if you really care about your family, then you’ll be motivated to work and stay here for your career.”

Position: Longterm Employee

Time at Company: 10+ years

Review: “Long term employee has seen AJM steadily grow over the years, no matter what the local or national economy is like. Always seeking to improve and not become stagnant. Outstanding benefit program is head and shoulders above almost any other employer out there -no matter their size.”

Final Rundown: Do we recommend applying to work for AJM?

Yes! From the company mindset, processes, and benefits to the employee reviews and coronavirus response, AJM Packaging rises to the top as a compassionate, professional, and forward-looking employer. 

AJM stands out in regards to employee benefits, upward mobility, and consistent growth. If you are looking for a job in manufacturing, management, or operations, AJM Packaging may be the right fit for you. 

To find more information about AJM Packaging, connect with AJM on Facebook, and Linkedin, or find their website here