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December 9, 2015

San Diego Drums & Totes

Looking for a large barrel for bio-diesel and not finding any in San Diego, Starr Skinner decided to purchase extra ones in Los Angeles and offer them for sale locally. Seeing how quickly they were bought up, Skinner knew he had a great business idea. San Diego Drums & Totes was born in 2009, followed by a storefront and warehouse in Lemon Grove, and a new second location in San Marcos.

San Diego Drums & Totes offers new and used rain drums, wine barrels and other storage containers for individual and industrial uses such as rainwater collection, home brewing, bulk sales, emergency preparedness, hydroponics and aquaponics.

To support his fast-growing business, Skinner learned of Expanded Subsidized Employment (ESE) through his human resources team and hired his first ESE-placed employee in April.

ESE is a program funded by SDWP that assists employers looking for skilled and work-ready employees. ESE helps reduce the costs associated with identifying, hiring and onboarding employees, and reimburses employers up to 100 percent of the wages of a new hire in the first 180 days of employment.

ESE Business Services Representative (BSR) Angel Stancer guided Skinner through the program and resources at the San Diego Metro Career Center.

“I am excited to have a partnership with the ESE Program. Not only do I receive wage reimbursement for my new hires, but I also receive reliable and hardworking employees from our community,” Skinner said. “Whenever I have open positions within my company, I turn to the ESE program first for my hiring needs.”

Skinner was so pleased with the results that he continued to hire four additional employees through ESE. Three have stayed on as permanent staff.

The relationship between San Diego Drums & Totes and ESE was so successful that Skinner decided to refer the ESE program to his other company, Pacific Export, which began hiring through ESE as well.

The staff placed through ESE at San Diego Drums & Totes have been successful in their new employment, and they are being recognized by name for their excellent customer service by reviewers on Yelp. Each of the placed employees has received raises since they started working there, and several of them have retained their employment after their subsidization period ended.

Skinner reinvested the subsidization funds into the creation of a commercial for Drums & Totes featuring his ESE-placed employees at work. Thanks to this program, he has been able to delegate the filling of his workforce needs while he focuses his time and energy on the growth of his company.

Photo: (Left to right) Operations Manager Mike Russell and Founder/President Starr Skinner of San Diego Drums & Totes in Lemon Grove. Photo by Cynthia Robertson, East County Californian

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