The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is arguably one of the greatest American traditions. Millions of people watch it on television and line the parade route. Many of them sit on bleachers that were manufactured on Long Island.
Seating Solutions designs, installs, and custom fabricates seats. It's a quick process. The seats are set up over a two-week period and then removed once the parade finishes. "Chair Man" Scott Suprina has been in the business for 25 years. He says Seating Solutions specializes in sales, rental and installation of sports and spectator seating systems.
About 70 people work out of the 35,000-square-foot warehouse in Commack. They assemble and build permanent and temporary seats and bleachers for sports and special events. Some of their work includes the Giants and Jets training facilities, concerts at Yankee Stadium, Coney Island's Ford Amphitheater and most recently Desert Trip Festival, a nearly 31,000-seat setup for an outdoor music festival on the West Coast.
What goes into manufacturing these seats? The design team generates an idea and then it's executed on the floor. The company uses about 2 million pounds of aluminum each year.
All of the printing is done in house including the seat numbers. Scott says soon bench-style seating will be a thing of the past.
Scott's son, Chandler, is vice president of business development. Born and raised on Long Island, Chandler says he is familiar with New York's high cost of living and has experienced firsthand just how hard it is to make a living in this area.
Tami Lacertosa-Plax has been with the company for over 10 years. She is also a born and raised New Yorker, so it is important to stay here.
Seating Solutions bought a facility in South Carolina about two years ago for more space at a reasonable cost, but 90 percent of manufacturing still takes place on Long Island and will continue to because the company considers Long Island to be home.
It keeps getting more expensive, but Scott says all of those challenges are worth it being in the business capital of the world.