Our mission is to produce excellent transportation seating products. These products and our service shall exceed our customer's expectations. This shall be accomplished in an atmosphere promoting continuous improvement and innovation for our products and personal growth for our employees.
It was over 120 years ago that Hyman Freedman began making seat cushions for horse-drawn buggies. He knew his craft well, and was awarded a diploma of honorable mention for the 1892 Columbian Exposition in Chicago for his skill in upholstery. A century later, the tradition continues. Freedman Seating Company is still a family owned-and-operated business committed to meeting the highest standards in the industry. Today Freedman Seating Company is one of the nation's largest specialty seating manufacturers.
Markets and Products
We manufacture seats and seating related products for many different applications. Our product lines include bus, rail, marine, delivery truck, specialty and commercial vehicle seating. Consistent growth and expansion has earned Freedman Seating recognition as the leading manufacturer of transportation seating solutions. Manufacturing seats for buses, Freedman Seating supplies the major OEMs, over 250 bus distributors, the federal government, and many states and municipalities. The family of Freedman Seating bus seats includes products for small and mid-size coaches, paratransit vans and buses, public transit buses, and private bus operators.
Our success in the seating market comes from our ability to provide a total value-added seating package to our customers: innovative designs, superior customer service, proven quality products, and timely delivery. OEMs, distributors, and operators know that they will receive the highest quality and life-long support when they purchase a Freedman Seat. We pride ourselves on our ability to eliminate our customer's seating concerns. The end result is that Freedman Seating is known throughout the industry as a company that stands 100% behind its product.
Who we are
Freedman Seating Company currently has nearly 750 employees including manufacturing, sales, engineering and administrative personnel. This includes 250 jobs created since 2011; 225 of them in production. Of all employees, nearly 75% live in the City of Chicago, as do both the CEO and President. Freedman Seating is proud that its workforce reflects racial and gender diversity; minorities and women make up 85%.
We are committed to keeping manufacturing in Chicago and strengthening the industry for growth and sustainability. Strong partnerships with schools and community organizations are critical to these efforts. Austin Polytechnical Academy is a manufacturing high school on Chicago’s west side. In addition to sitting on their Advisory Board, we offer job shadowing, internships and mentorships to complement the training and develop a more knowledgeable workforce. We have hired graduates and anticipate continuing to do so.
Freedman Seating partners with City Colleges of Chicago to continue education for our current employees in welding, blueprint reading, mathematics and general manufacturing education. Every week they receive open job postings and candidates are invited to apply.
Similarly, Freedman Seating works with Skills for Chicagoland’s Future to find qualified candidates for open positions. We provide gap analysis and examples of our in-house testing so that the training model reflects industry needs and participants get clear ideas of expectations. We also share job postings and invite their applicants for interviews.
Jane Addams Resource Corporation and Freedman Seating have a long-term relationship working to improve the manufacturing skillset in our community. Together we have developed programs that provide hands-on training, apprenticeships and job opportunities. This partnership has created a training-to-employment pipeline, which allows Freedman to hire applicants who have studied and trained in specific areas of need, learning on the exact equipment they would use in our employ.
Freedman Seating is proud to be a community partner in education and training in manufacturing. As we continue to grow and add jobs, we firmly believe that these efforts will not only benefit us, creating a larger, highly skilled workforce available to hire, they will also ensure that Chicago’s manufacturing industry is perpetually sustainable.