Preferred Fabricator Spotlight: AGS
A Nova Polymers Preferred Fabricator, AGS is an environmental graphics manufacturing firm headquartered in Exton, PA that creates interior and exterior wayfinding signage. With almost 60 years of experience as a sign manufacturing job shop, AGS continues to build on its success by providing high-quality products and services.
As a solutions-driven organization, its talented team has the expertise to deliver a full turnkey solution for signage projects from concept to installation. It’s main target markets are the healthcare industry and the educational sector, including specialty schools, private schools, and preparatory schools.
What separates AGS from other Nova Preferred Fabricators is its focus on company culture, built on decades of family values, and how those values translate into the way they operated their business in the past few months.
A family-owned business, AGS was founded in 1962 by Jack and Estelle Jacobson. Based on the groundwork created by the founding Jacobsons almost 60 years ago, AGS continues to be a family-first business. Today, AGS is run by the second generation of the Jacobson family: sons Josh and Neil Jacobson.
“If you know anything about family businesses, the second generation can do one of two things: they can tear it down or they can build it up. My brother and I made a conscious decision to build it up. And now we’re here, with the third generation – my son – joining AGS,” said Josh Jacobson, Executive Vice President of AGS.
This core value of family is the foundation of AGS’ employee-first culture and extends to how it operates. “Over the past four decades, we have been building AGS up as a family-owned and operated manufacturer of high-end interior and exterior signage,” explained Jacobson. “But it’s always been about our employees. They come first. And then it’s ‘Oh, by the way, we make great products.’”
Especially now during this unprecedented time, AGS’s number one priority has been creating a safe environment where employees feel comfortable coming in. And if they don’t feel comfortable, equipping them with the resources they need to succeed at home. “Today, the question remains: what does it mean for our employees to work in a safe environment? So, we asked our employees, what do you want to do? If you want to come in, we’ll create a safe environment. If you don’t want to, we’ll make sure you can work virtually. This is something we’re trying to get better at, but so far, these processes have been working for us and we’ve been fortunate to stay open,” said Jacobson.
Giving Back to the Community
One of the proudest moments for Executive Vice President Josh Jacobson and the employees at AGS has been their efforts in supporting first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although AGS has been fortunate to keep their doors open during this time, Jacobson and the AGS team noticed many of their clients, particularly healthcare organizations, were finding it challenging. “It’s a very difficult time for a lot of people,” stated Jacobson. “So, we thought what can we do to help?”
The answer: making face shields. When AGS learned that a client, a local high school, was making face shields, AGS saw the opportunity to do the same and give back to its community. “We made 3,000 face shields and donated them. This was a real feel-good moment for not only the company but also for our employees who saw the impact of making these face shields for our first responders and healthcare organizations,” explained Jacobson.
From their homes and at the plants, the AGS team rallied to the cause and dove in. “Since all the project managers and engineers were working remote, they were making these shields at home. They were picking up the products outside the door, taking out the shields, assembling them at home, and dropping it back off at the office,” Jacobson said. “We’re so proud of them, and what they’ve accomplished. It was really amazing to see all of our employees devote their time and energy.”
Together, AGS has donated their face shields to Chester County Hospital, Paoli Surgery Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Inglis House of Philadelphia, BeBee Medical Center, Jefferson Health Systems, and other local healthcare providers and law enforcement agencies.
“That moment I reached out to my healthcare clients and heard the heartfelt response we got because we were thinking of them and their first responders… It’s hard to put into words,” Jacobson expanded. “It wasn’t about AGS and making signs and trying to cultivate new business after the pandemic. It was about being there for them, at the right moments, not just to sell them something. It’s one thing to say that you’re going to give back to the community, but it’s another thing to do it.”
These moments have been extremely important to AGS and its company culture over the past few months. Now, in order to further help its clients, they are currently focusing on making COVID-19 stickers and signs for healthcare organizations in need.
A Nova Polymers Preferred Fabricator
AGS is a Nova Polymers Preferred Fabricator and has cultivated a strong relationship with Nova Polymers as a result. “The fact that Nova Polymers has always been there for us. We couldn’t be as good as we are without the relationship we have with Nova,” said Josh Jacobson.
What further cements this partnership is the quality of Nova Polymers photopolymer products. Jacobson explains, “The quality of products that Nova Polymer consistently delivers is what makes them such a strong vendor. We don’t think about any other company when we make photopolymer signs.”
And with all their efforts giving back in the past few months, AGS is not only a proud partner of Nova Polymers, but a proud partner to Nova Polymers as well. Nova Polymers is focused on the health and safety of our employees, families, and, most importantly, our communities. As such, we are extremely proud of our AGS and our other customers for using their tools and knowledge to help save lives during this pandemic.