Inspired by a spate of other companies in the Pittsburgh area responding to understaffing challenges, family-owned Alpha Aromatics, a perfume manufacturing company with a long history in the Alleghany County area, has raised the minimum wage of its general production workers to $15 an hour.
In the words of Bryan Zlotnik, COO of Alpha Aromatics, “Coming off the pandemic and subsequent stimulus efforts, we’ve been confronted with similar challenges that many companies are facing, mainly understaffing, low application rates and supply chain shortfalls.”
But that’s not the core reason for the wage increase.
Bryan went on to explain how he recently read that Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor, a local Pittsburgh eatery, took a leap of faith and increased their wages from Pennsylvania’s minimum of $7.25 an hour to $15, and they were not only able to fill 15 jobs practically overnight but they increased the loyalty of their employees.
“What Klavon’s did really spoke to me, mainly because my Father always taught me that a successful family business focuses on creating a bond of commitment and purpose by promoting from within, investing in its people and avoiding layoffs as much as possible during down times, whenever possible. So this effort is not only about improving the quality of life of our current employees but also to entice more people to join and grow with the Alpha family.”
In the words of Bryan’s Father, Arnold Zlotnik, “We have always been a family-owned business, and many of our employees have been with us for decades. Families can be defined by many things, but they often are defined by those who are there for you, through thick and thin, when times are tough. We’ve certainly been through our fair share of tough times. For me, that’s what makes a family. That’s the epitome of family.”
Bryan concluded, “If the Covid pandemic reinforced anything, it was how important it is to be innovative through tumultuous times for the sake of your business and your employees. Like many companies, we expanded our focus to include manufacturing hand sanitizing products, but we also applied our odor neutralizing expertise to creating solutions that reduced ethanol odors in sanitizers. By virtue of these efforts and being as diversified as we are with our sister companies Air-Scent International, Sani-Air and Surco Portable Sanitation Products, we were able to avoid layoffs and thrive through an otherwise difficult period.”
In addition to the wage hike, Alpha Aromatics is also providing medical benefits after 60 days of employment and 401K company match after a year.