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Good morning. If you've wondered who would ever watch other people play video games, head to downtown Harrisburg tomorrow. Harrisburg University of Science and Technology is hosting what it bills as the country's biggest collegiate esports tournament, the HUE Invitational. It is the kickoff for a larger event HU is hosting -- called Tech & Town Week -- to showcase the school's impact on the capital city and the region as a whole.
 
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West Shore HVAC firm sold



Enginuity, an HVAC contractor based in Hampden Township, Cumberland County, is under new ownership.
  • The company was sold earlier this month to a subsidiary of GDI Integrated Facility Services, a Canadian company that provides janitorial, HVAC, electrical and related services to commercial buildings.
  • "We're super-excited and I think it's going to be fantastic for our employees and for our clients," said Jim Mooney, Enginuity's former owner.
  • Mooney, who is staying on as president, declined to share the terms of the deal.
  • Enginuity has been involved in numerous high-profile projects, including renovation of a Cumblerand County office building to serve as the headquarters of home remodeling company West Shore Home.

Why is this happening: GDI subsidiary Ainsworth is looking to expand its HVAC work in the United States.
  • It started in January with the purchase of New York-based HVAC contractor The BPAC Group
  • Mooney said he knows the leadership at BPAC and they led Ainsworth to Enginuity.
  • "When they were asked to grow in the states, especially in the Mid-Atlantic, we were their first call," Mooney said in a phone interview.
  • Enginuity will continue to operate under its current name, Mooney said, though that could change.

The background: Enginuity employs about 145 people and expects revenue close to $50 million this year, Mooney said.
  • The company had been expanding. In April, it purchased a Maryland contractor called Triad Mechanical Services, giving Enginuity an office in Glen Arm, Maryland.
  • GDI is based in Quebec. It employs roughly 20,000 people and had revenue last year of Canadian $1.4 billion.
  
The bottom line: The HVAC contracting business has long been fragmented, with companies primarily operating locally.
  • However, the industry is currently in a period of consolidation, driven partly by private equity firms.
  • But they aren't the only players. Harrisburg-based HB Global, an employee-owned company, also has been an active acquirer.


Harsco taking flight



The exodus of public companies from Central Pennsylvania is adding a new chapter.
  • Harsco is planning to move its headquarters from Wormleysburg to downtown Philadelphia by 2023. The move is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2022, Harsco spokesperson Jay Cooney said.
  • Most of the roughly 100 HQ jobs will move but two dozen or so could remain, he said. The company plans to operate with its employees coming into the office.
  • “We are confident that this move to America’s sixth largest city will provide us with more options to the future resources needed to fuel our growth including a strong infrastructure, a much larger and diverse talent pool, and closer proximity to our customers and federal government agencies," Harsco chairman and CEO Nick Grasberger said in a statement.
  • Cooney declined to identify the Philadelphia location where Harsco is moving and said the company has not made any decisions on its Cumberland County office, which the company owns.
  • Built in the 1970s, the roughly 42,000-square-foot building was extensively renovated in 2015.

The history: Harsco was founded in 1853 as Harrisburg Car Co., a manufacturer of railroad cars.
  • The company has evolved over the years and now focuses on providing environmental services, though it has a rail division specializing in track maintenance.
  • Harsco employs 12,000 people in 35 countries and had revenue of nearly $1.9 million in 2020, up from $1.5 billiion in 2019, according to its most recent annual report.

Is there a trend: The Harsco news comes a few days after Rite Aid announced it also is moving to Philadelphia, though the two companies are taking different tacks. Rite Aid is planning to move into a remote-first headquarters designed mostly for company meetings and gatherings, not individual workspaces.
  • Other recent departees include dental products giant Dentsply Sirona and paper company Glatfelter. Formerly based in York, the two public companies both moved to Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Glatfelter's Spring Grove operation was taken over by a private equity-backed company called Pixelle Specialty Solutions
  • One exception has been Armstrong Flooring. The manufacturer moved its headquarters earlier this year but stayed in Lancaster County.

The bottom line: Many Fortune 500 companies long ago moved their manufacturing to other countries, dramatically shaving their U.S. job count. Their corporate headquarters also have been shifting geograpically, according to author Richard Florida.
  • They are increasingly likely to be found in places where they believe they can find talent: big cities with large, international airports and a high share of people who have earned at least a bachelor's degree, he wrote last year in the Harvard Business Review.
  • However, Florida argued that companies should spread their investments to smaller second- and third-tier cities, given the high costs, heavy traffic and other drawbacks of big cities. 
 

 

Quick takes




WHO PICKED A SPOT: Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning. The early education initative of Milton Hershey School plans to open an early learning center at the intersection of North 6th and Muench streets in Midtown Harrisburg.The center is the second of six planned around the state. The first is going up on the campus of Milton Hershey School in Derry Township, Dauphin County.
  • The $350 million early learning initiative is designed to serve poor and at-risk children from birth to age 5 at no cost,
  • The Harrisburg center is slated to open in 2024 and will employ roughly 80 people and serve 150 children in a 45,000-square-foot building.
  • The Derry Township center is expected to open in 2023.

The background: The Milton Hershey School has been under pressure in recent years to spend more of its fortune on underprivileged children.
  • The school has assets of nearly $17.4 billion, according to research site GuideStar. 
 


WHO'S GETTING FIBER: The borough of Carlisle. Shenandoah Telecommunications, which does business as Shentel, plans to construct a fiber network in the Cumberland County borough with a goal of starting service in the fourth quarter of 2021. The high-speed service is expected to reach more than 7,000 homes and businesses
  • Based in Edinboro, Virginia, Shentel provides telecommunications services largely to rural areas and small towns in Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

 
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Compiled and written by Joel Berg

 
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