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Alicia Hovorka

Millwright

We all are on our own path, or, as some say, a journey in life. We have things we want to do with our lives, both professionally and personally. For Alicia Hovorka, her professional journey actually included the word ‘journey.’

Hovorka reached a significant milestone that was five years in the making. She graduated from Mid-State Technical College as a maintenance mechanic journeyman.

“I wanted to become a journeyman so that I could prove my knowledge by having my state indentured card,” Hovorka said. “I will have that accomplishment and knowledge with me for the rest of my life.”

Hovorka completed the required 7,500 apprenticeship hours (on-the-job training) at Didion.

“Didion hired me while I was studying to be a millwright,” said Hovorka. “I learned theory at school and then applied it with hands-on work at Didion.”

The road certainly had a few turns for Hovorka. She struggled to find the right company to work for, whether it was safety concerns or a better fit for her new family after welcoming a baby in 2021. 

Hovorka celebrates her first anniversary at Didion in June. She is grateful to have found a supportive culture and coworkers here.

“They really collaborate with you toward your goals and where you want to be in the future,” said Hovorka. “My coworkers were patient with me while I was learning and went out of their way to teach me things. We are a small but mighty group and work well together.”

“By investing in our apprentices, we are not only enhancing their career prospects but also ensuring the long-term success and innovation within our organization,” said Corynn DeCosse, senior business partner at Didion. “Didion’s commitment to continuous learning and development is one of the many aspects that makes the company a remarkable place to work.”

DeCosse adds, “It is deeply gratifying to see how the program has equipped Alicia with the skills and confidence needed to succeed. I am proud of Alicia’s accomplishments and proud to have been a part of this process.”

“Alicia worked hard and stuck to her commitment with support from her family and work team,” said John Bosco, director of corporate reliability at Didion. “She is a great team member for Didion Milling and I look forward to working with her as a journeyman millwright.”

One of the more challenging aspects of being a millwright for Hovorka? 

“Being a female in the trades,” said Hovorka. “At other companies, I was treated differently and had to prove that I would fit the job well. I haven’t felt that way at Didion, and I am so glad I am here.”

Hovorka’s journey continues both professionally and personally and has a word of advice for others thinking about their next steps.

“I’ve learned it’s important not to limit yourself,” Hovorka added. “You can do whatever you really love to do, no matter what it is. My next chapter will be expanding our family and getting certified to weld.”

To learn more about the many other benefits of working at Didion, click here.