Engineer picks Philly base for NYC work

When Tulsa-based MPW Engineering won a contract to put together an efficient refrigeration and heat transfer system for a corner of New York's Empire State Building, the 50-person firm figured it was time to open an East Coast base to handle the work and other new jobs.

They picked the Philadelphia area. "We're in temporary quarters in Marlton and we're doing a more intensive search" for a permanent location, chief executive Scott Webb told me.

Why Philly instead of New York? Two reasons: First, "access." The region is convenient to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland" for national clients like Walgreens and Walmart, restaurant and convenience store chains and government offices. "By car and airport, Philadelphia is really easy to get in and out of," compared to New York.

Plus there's Matthew Trinsey, the Temple graduate and Philadelphia area resident MPW hired to run its East Coast operations. A veteran of the former Clive Samuels & Associates, a firm purchased by Emerson Electric and later shut (though Samuels himself is still very much in business), Trinsey is the local boss, so he gets to choose where he works. Webb says he'll be hiring a few a year, engineers and technicians. And none of this work-from-home: "With the work we do, we need to be close together."