The Women Behind The Action

Layla Wilkerson, Reporter


When you hear about a manufacturing company you tend to think of a male-dominated workforce that spend their days doing brutal work and messing around. Although you still tend to see a fun amount of messing around, Alcom has found that women have kept the business and plant afloat!

Alcom launched in Bonner in 2013. In 2018 the plant was doubled in size. There are several parts to this company. Welders and fabricators, production assemblers, and carpentry are just some pieces of this company. Another part is the women who are running the Bonner plant. Several different women are the top of their chain and a big part in keeping Alcom going as smoothly as possible. 

Riley Bunch is 24 years old and has been an Alcom employee for a little over six months. She is the official Human Resources assistant. Her daily life consists of sorting through tons of applications to find quality people who have the skills needed for Alcom, onboarding new employees, and managing their orientation. One challenge she has to deal with is the low employment rate. The Missoula hiring rate is only 1.8% and often Bunchwill have no shows. Over the last week, Bunch had four people who planned to have an orientation day with her. Only one person showed. Her goals for herself are to stay on top of her email, get through several very tall stacks of paperwork, and keeping Alcom’s calendar up to date. 

When asked how she got where she is today, she told a story about a burnt-out young lady who was giving everything she could to her job. “High expectations tend to kill people” However, those dedication and management skills are what made her perfect for her new position. In her future, she hopes to be an HR generalist. Later down the road, she aspires to move to Scotland. Bunch considers herself successful and without her the plant would run drastically slower and her loss would be felt in the building.  

Another very important woman is Alicia Solis. Solis is a 24-year-old who has spent the last year and a half dedicating her time to the logistics of Alcom. Her official position is the Logistics Coordinator/Specialist. She deals with shipping out the finished trailers and communicating with tons of dealerships. Her daily struggles are shipping based. When trailers get damaged or won’t fit, she is the one they call. She spends a lot of her time doing paperwork and coordinating the yard crew.

 Her favorite part about her job is the need for her problem solving skills. According to Solis, problem solving is the “most frustrating but entertaining thing I could do.” She got to where she is by giving her hard work and going through multiple positions. In the future of Alcom she wants to master the logistics and be the next best person when someone needs help. Solis considers herself very successful and without her, the plant would be less organized, no paper trails, and very unprofessional. 

Finally, Stephanie Wilkerson is 37 and has given almost two years to Alcom. She runs the decal shop by herself. She is the official decal shop lead and with no one around to bother her, she thrives. Wilkerson is also a backup forklift driver with all her certifications, a skins lady, and can even be found in the stockroom. She spends her day making thousands of decals for the Missoula plant and others around the country. She is the most knowledgeable person to run the decal shop although she didn’t get here easily. After starting in the parts department and going out of her way to find new opportunities to learn new skills and positions, she started to show Alcom how much they really needed her. She truly proved how beneficial she was for the plant and without her they would not have a top shelf shop.  

These are not the only women with head positions,  and without these women Alcom would truly be a mess. Welding and trailer production is a male-dominated industry and these women are quickly proving that gender roles are irrelevant in today’s day and age. Thank you to these amazing ladies!