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Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Archive for 2016

Skolnik Cited by Chicago Tribune for Participation in Youth Employment

September 20th, 2016 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Cool Stuff, Skolnik Newsletter

All stories of good intentions do not necessarily end as expected. Early in 2016, Dean Ricker, Skolnik’s VP of Sales, became interested in a program to help employ Chicago’s youth.
The Manufacturing Careers Internship Program was launched in 2011 and is responsible for the successful placement of hundreds of youth in gainful employment. The program includes a “boot camp” type of training for the candidates which includes tours to manufacturing companies around Chicago.

Dean offered Skolnik to be a host company and 18 potential interns toured and marveled at our manufacturing process and culture. One student that stood out, Adonis Clayton, was selected to be the Skolnik intern and from the first day of his internship, we witnessed a transformation of character and dedication. From sleeping in his car to insisting on wearing a tie to work every day, Adonis was working to become a gainfully employed Chicago resident. Skolnik employees all championed Adonis as he became known as “Mr. Wonderful.” Furthermore, we saw his talent emerge and he felt attracted to the practice of Engineering.

It was all going well and we allocated time for Adonis to complete his GED. However, in late August, Adonis stopped reporting to work and, we believe, his personal life got in the way of his progress. At this point, his future at Skolnik is unsure but our door is still open. Even if Adnonis chooses not to return to Skolnik, we hope that his time at Skolnik will always serve to help him reach out for a bright future.

You can read the full Tribune story here

Canned Wine Grows in Popularity

September 13th, 2016 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Crain’s Chicago Business recently reported that over the past few years canned wine has skyrocketed in popularity. "Cans are the fastest-growing packaging category for wine in the U.S.," says Bill Terlato, CEO of Terlato Wines in Lake Bluff. Canned wine sales have grown from just under $2 million nationally in 2012 to more than $14.5 million in 2016, according to a recent A.C. Nielsen report. "Whole Foods predicted (canned wine) would be one of the biggest retail trends of 2016," says Stephen Sullivan, owner and founder of Vinejoy Chicago, a wine distributor carrying both Fiction and Alloy Wine Works canned wines made by Field Recordings in Paso Robles, Calif. "So far they’ve been dead-on. I’ve sold more cans in June 2016 than in all of 2015." While canned wine has been around since the 1930s, early efforts resulted in a cloudy product that often corroded the tin cans. Those production problems persisted until about 1940, but it wasn’t until today’s new generation of canned wine that things got good. With recent packaging innovations, canned wine is slowly overcoming its image problem. Sofia Minis, a sparkling wine by Francis Ford Coppola introduced in 2004, led the way of this new generation of canned wine. "The cans have a coating on the inside that does not affect the wine’s taste or chemistry," says Marlow Bruce, director of public relations and communications at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. "You can equate the can to wine being stored in a stainless steel tank." The 187-milliliter cans of Sofia come with a straw attached, like juice boxes. Wines in cans aren’t exactly grand cru Burgundy. These are value brands meant for casual, fun consumption. But are canned wines acceptable to a discerning drinker, and do they taste the same from a can as from a bottle? Wine producers say it should taste the same whether coming from a bottle or from a specially lined can.

Though larger than cans, click here to view the Skolnik line of stainless steel wine barrels.

Our History in Pictures

August 29th, 2016 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Cool Stuff, Skolnik Newsletter

Skolnik Industries has been one of the most reputable names in the steel drum and packaging arena for nearly a century. Today we have a global market, but it all started in a small, family owned drum reconditioning facility in Chicago. As we approach 90 years of presence in the steel drum community, we have compiled a pictorial history of our company with photos, product brochures, and news events that date back as far as 1943. Originally started circa 1925 as peddlers of wooden barrels, in 1940, the company moved to steel drum reconditioning and as of 1960, solely manufacturing new steel drums. In 1985, the company was bought by Howard Skolnik and in 2012, Howard’s long-time friend, Brian Hand became a shareholder. The focus has been to develop the niche products for unique markets which were not being served by conventional 55 gallon steel drum manufacturers. During these last 30 years, Skolnik has achieved the highest levels of quality manufacturing with a vast array of products and services. Today we operate under ISO 9001:2015 as well as Nuclear Quality Assurance – 1. We participate in the global regulatory arena to “save lives” by helping to prevent hazardous material accidents.

If you would like to see what we’ve been doing for these past 90 years, check out OUR HISTORY at Skolnik.com. We’re proud of our past, working hard in our present, and looking forward to a stimulating future.

Looking for Regulatory Answers?

August 22nd, 2016 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Skolnik Newsletter

Several years ago I attended a conference at a hotel that had a complicated layout. On my first day I was unable to find the lecture room, and I asked a hotel employee for directions. He offered “to take me there.” The following day, again, I could not find the meeting room and again, I asked another employee for directions. She, too, offered to “take me there.” What I quickly understood was that these hotel employee’s didn’t just point to where I needed to go, they made sure that I found the correct room quickly, and without any confusion! I realized that their kind offer was also the result of critical customer service training and when I returned to Chicago, shared my experience with the Skolnik staff.

As always, it‘s our responsibility and pleasure to help our customers, and potential customers, navigate the many Federal Regulations that govern the products that we manufacture. We offer more than 150 UN certified drum products and while we cannot tell you which steel drum to use, we can take you to where you need to go to find your classification and packaging answers. If you have special requirements or seek unusual options, our Engineering and Sales staff has a gigantic knowledgebase of available products and services. As for on-line support, the Resources page on our web site (www.skolnik.com/resources) is the most highly used steel drum resource in the world. Whether it‘s our web site, design options or regulatory questions, “let us take you there” to find the right answers.