Trailer manufacturer ALCOM to open plant in Bonner

2012-11-15T05:15:00Z 2014-06-14T10:40:36Z Trailer manufacturer ALCOM to open plant in BonnerBy JENNA CEDERBERG of the Missoulian missoulian.com
November 15, 2012 5:15 am  • 

A Maine-based aluminum trailer manufacturer set to move in at the old Stimson mill site in Bonner could bring as many as 60 jobs to the area by early 2013.

The Aluminum Company of Maine Inc. has signed a lease to establish a 70,000-square-foot manufacturing facility inside the plywood building on the site.

“We will start Monday doing all of the buildout for the renovations. It’s just full speed ahead, they want to get in there as quickly as they can,” said Mike Boehme, Bonner Property Development LLC co-owner.

The intent is to make the location ALCOM’s West Coast distribution site. The company is making a significant investment in its expansion here, said Boehme, who bought the old Stimson site with partner Steve Nelson last December.

ALCOM plans to start production here in early 2013. The company already is advertising to hire, Missoula Economic Partnership President James Grunke said. Grunke announced the deal Wednesday during a meeting with the Missoula City Council.

Founded in 2006, ALCOM is headquartered in Waterville, Maine, and employs roughly 200 people at its facility in Winslow, Maine, according to an MEP news release.

ALCOM founded Mission Trailers but also produces trailers under the High Country, E-Z Hauler and Sno-Pro brands, the release said.

According to the Mission Trailer website, the company builds more than 70 models of open and enclosed aluminum trailers “for a wide variety of uses. Our combination of price and quality has fueled our tremendous growth.”

ALCOM’s revenues increased during the recession and topped $25 million in 2011, the release said.

The company plans to rapidly expand its facility in Bonner. Several ALCOM representatives will move to Missoula, and the company anticipates expanding to 200 employees within the first two years, the release said.

Initially, ALCOM is looking for entry-level manufacturing workers. Wages and benefits will be around $30,000 a year, and could include daily production bonuses, the MEP release said.

***

ALCOM needed a West Coast location because it has a large number of customers in the western U.S. and western Canada, Grunke said.

One growing customer base is oil field workers.

“They’re finding a lot of their customers are people working up in the oil industry in Canada; they’re making mobile ‘man caves,’ your snowmobile, your wet bar, your TV all in one – but that’s just one example,” Grunke said.

The Missoula site was ideal because it provided a ready-made facility, freeway access and rail access if that’s necessary down the road, Boehme said.

Beyond that, “they just felt there was a real synergy between the value system of the workers in Maine with the workers in Montana,” Boehme said.

Grunke agreed that there were many factors that made Missoula a good fit.

“I have always felt Montana and Missoula have made good sense for light manufacturing, which this would include,” he said. “I think they’re coming from a part of the world that’s similar; they’re from rural Maine, we’re rural Montana. There are maybe some cultural similarities – that was very important to them. We want this to be the first of many similar announcements in this community.”

ALCOM was founded by Trapper Clark and Tom Sturtevant.

Clark said in the news release that the “professional assistance” of MEP and the “can-do attitudes” of local officials made the expansion an easy decision.

“We are excited to begin our next stage of growth in Big Sky Country,” Clark said.

Reporter Jenna Cederberg can be reached at 523-5241 or at jenna.cederberg@missoulian.com.

Copyright 2015 missoulian.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(21) Comments

  1. Sukey
    Report Abuse
    Sukey - November 16, 2012 8:06 am
    They always do that, some government bureaucrat taking credit for the work, and workers, in the private sector. Even President Obama and past Presidents quote how many jobs "they" created during their administration.
  2. Sukey
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    Sukey - November 16, 2012 8:04 am
    good for you Jane!
  3. COMMON SENSE
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    COMMON SENSE - November 15, 2012 4:17 pm
    Oh wow, I guess Obama was right when he told American business owners "you didn't build that!" Just like the last 4 years were a direct result of Bush...BTW who was our President for the last 4 years...I can't seem to remember?
  4. Dub
    Report Abuse
    Dub - November 15, 2012 3:27 pm
    Bet they will rethink their decision by the time OPG and RI get through with them. They have no idea what they are getting into.
  5. Alan Johnson
    Report Abuse
    Alan Johnson - November 15, 2012 11:05 am
    can't resist this: liable to be liable for libel ;-)
  6. Tracker
    Report Abuse
    Tracker - November 15, 2012 10:42 am
    Well-said, JaneDough.
  7. Tracker
    Report Abuse
    Tracker - November 15, 2012 10:42 am
    Hilarious.
  8. Alan Johnson
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    Alan Johnson - November 15, 2012 9:43 am
    Welcome. Don't be dissuaded by the few cranks that are always trying to shoot something down. Believe me, almost all of us welcome you with open arms.
  9. montanamuralist
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    montanamuralist - November 15, 2012 8:37 am
    Good news out here in this part of the county. Hopefully a sign we are on the upswing with the economy here and elsewhere.
  10. JaneDough
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    JaneDough - November 15, 2012 7:29 am
    Shame on all of you nay-sayers. Nothing is ever good enough for you, is it? If they say it will be 60 jobs, someone whines that it's not 200. If they open within a stone's throw of a major town, someone whines because it's not really IN Missoula. Not to mention some of the folks who need jobs the worst are former mill workers who are still stuck in Bonner/Milltown commuting to whatever job they have been able to find in town. We NEED these jobs. The majority WANTS these jobs.

    And yet people wonder why Montana has some of the lowest wages in the country. Just read the idiots on the comments section. No wonder companies don't want to come here...they don't want to open shop with a workforce base that appears so horribly stupid.

    Welcome ALCOM! You will actually find a quite skilled labor pool and people that are eager and ready to work. The people you are bringing to get things up and running in will find one of the best schools in Montana right across the street. WELCOME and thank you for choosing Missoula. Maybe it's time to invest in a new trailer!
  11. Texas Susie
    Report Abuse
    Texas Susie - November 15, 2012 6:28 am
    "High Country Trailers is an ALCOM Inc. (aluminum company of Maine) product line. ALCOM Inc. purchased High Country Aluminum Products' dealer network in mid 2006. Since that time, we have expanded the line from open trailers and snow covers to include a full line of enclosed cargo and car haulers.

    ALCOM Inc. is a NATM (National Association of Trailer Manufacturers) Certified company. We manufacturer to established industry standards and U.S. DOT’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).

    We're proud to be an American owned company focused on designing and building the highest quality aluminum trailers available."
  12. Texas Susie
    Report Abuse
    Texas Susie - November 15, 2012 6:09 am
    Amerikeen:: From where did you get your information? From what I read-- and not from some gossip paper-- is that they are a reputable company. Why can't you GOOGLE it, or are you too interested in tearing down a company you know nothing about.

    They have done quite well in Maine-- the newspaper article I read shows that they have expanded from their original size.

    Oh, the trailers the build run in price from $1,000.00 for a simple utility trailer to the $50,000.00 fancy ones.
  13. F Moh
    Report Abuse
    F Moh - November 15, 2012 6:06 am
    Comparing Bonner to Butte or Drummond? C'mon. Bonner is not Missoula - but it is Missoula county. This site is less than 4 miles from the city limits. Workers at this plant will certainly shop in Missoula - benefiting the economy there. And it is close enough that many of the workers will probably live in Missoula - paying taxes there.

    I see no problem with saying this deal is good news for the city of Missoula.
  14. chaffincreek
    Report Abuse
    chaffincreek - November 15, 2012 6:00 am
    Actually it is L I B E L
  15. denisewilliamskelley
    Report Abuse
    denisewilliamskelley - November 14, 2012 11:04 pm
    And you have proof? Do you know how to spell L I B A L?
  16. denisewilliamskelley
    Report Abuse
    denisewilliamskelley - November 14, 2012 10:59 pm
    And your source is?
  17. hellgatenights
    Report Abuse
    hellgatenights - November 14, 2012 10:21 pm
    Yes....I see the developers and the Maine company......but I do not see what value grunke added?? Did he make the connection? Answer- no

    Did he add capital - no, he has no capital.

    Did he hire workers? No.....he did not.

    Did he produce a product? No again.

    In fact........grunke needs a little help with hie geography.....as does cederberg. You see......Bonner......is NOT missoula. Oops. Neither is Butte.....or Drummond. Where does grunke get off taking credit for brokering this deal for missoula?

  18. The_Boneshackler
    Report Abuse
    The_Boneshackler - November 14, 2012 9:48 pm
    Proof positive that Obama has wasted no time creating jobs. Hopefully the GOP House will back off of the economic terrorism lest they lose the House in two years.
  19. Montana82
    Report Abuse
    Montana82 - November 14, 2012 9:46 pm
    GREAT NEWS! I think ALCOM will find Missoula a great place to do business and they'll find a bunch of local supply companies that will suit their manufacturing needs perfectly...Montana Bolt, Tri-Arc Welding Supply, NW Industrial etc. As for Amerikeen's comment...how could they be rejects if they're obviously running a successful and growing company? After the last 3-4 years of tough times, this could be the spark to bring back some decent jobs to Missoula. Congrats, and welcome ALCOM!
  20. Trout
    Report Abuse
    Trout - November 14, 2012 7:20 pm
    Good News! It's great to read some GOOD news once in awhile :) I hope they offer the workers decent wages, and long term careers. We all know Montana; and Missoula minimum wages are a joke, hopefully this company is willing to pay a decent wage for the skill it takes to build a quality product. It's nice to know these trailors are being made in the USA also!
  21. Amerikeen
    Report Abuse
    Amerikeen - November 14, 2012 6:20 pm
    All I found about this company was a quote saying: "This company is run by a bunch of rejects were fired from a -real- trailer manufacturing company." That instantly makes me think they're sheisters. I hope someone checks out the solvency of this company first.
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