Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Salemtown Board Co. is aiming to transform the Music City.

A love of skateboarding — and a desire to transform Nashville by creating good jobs for young men in the inner-city — inspired Will and Schuyler Anderson to found Salemtown Board Co.

Salemtown manufactures skateboards for any activity, from longboarding down streets to climbing mountains to shredding at local skate parks or cruising to local shops. Not only does Salemtown build and distribute its boards, it also designs and produces its own apparel line, right in the heart of the Music City.

As a company, Salemtown’s bottom line is to incorporate people into the equation and create jobs here in America. As Will Anderson explains:

“We believe that business is the best place to see people become a part of their own solution. We believe that when businesses leaves a neighborhood, what is needed is not financial support, but new opportunities to work. With so much manufacturing moving overseas, it is imperative that American companies take the time to train up the next generation of workers instead of waiting for them to show up.”

Anderson has two big goals when it comes to job creation, the first of which is to be able to have the payroll to hire five men from whom he doesn’t need a return on investment.

But Anderson doesn’t want to hire just anyone — he wants to find five men who no one else will hire because they are considered by some employers to be a risky hire, with no prior work experience or training. Anderson wants to provide these folks with a job and teach them how to be successful.

Anderson’s second goal is to be self-replicating. “I would love to mentor a young man who becomes just as passionate about job creation and economic rehabilitation as I am,” he says.

Along with creating jobs Nashville, Anderson also is dedicated to producing all of Salemtown’s products in the city. 

“I believe we have an ethical responsibility to know where our goods are coming from. I want to have a product that people can feel good about,” he says. “We live in an age where we can know just about anything we want to. Unfortunately, most of us just choose not to know about where most of our stuff comes from.”

Buy a board, change a life.