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07/11/2012

5 Arizona companies become 'IMAGE certified'

5 Arizona companies become 'IMAGE certified'
5 Arizona companies become 'IMAGE certified'
PHOENIX – Five Arizona businesses representing the steel fabrication, aviation, construction, landscaping and metal finishing industries became the latest employers to partner with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to strengthen their hiring practices, reduce fraud and ensure they employ a legal workforce.

Agate Steel, Ascent Aviation, CareScape, ChemResearch and Summit Builders were each certified as "IMAGE" or "ICE Mutual Agreement Between Government and Employers" partners during a ceremony Wednesday. IMAGE is a voluntary program that allows private industry to partner with ICE to reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents.

"Our IMAGE partnerships enable us to recognize the highest level of employment integrity and foster best hiring practices," said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of HSI Arizona. "When employers make a commitment to hire and maintain a lawful workforce, it's good for their business and it's good for the community."

Agate Steel, Inc., based in Scottsdale, was founded in 1973. The company manufactures pre-engineered metal buildings, provides structural steel fabrication services and operates a steel service center on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The company's core clients come from the power, mining and industrial sectors, as well as the federal government.

Ascent Aviation operates a narrow body maintenance and storage center located at Tucson International Airport. Taking advantage of the desert climate, Ascent provides aircraft heavy maintenance, line maintenance, modification services, transition services, storage, paint, disassembly and consignment parts sales to worldwide aviation customers.

CareScape, a Phoenix-based landscape management and construction firm, is the first landscape company in Arizona to join the IMAGE program. Founded in 1993, the company installs and maintains large-scale private and public landscapes, servicing multiple homeowner associations as well as maintaining the grounds of the U.S. Airways Center, CityScape and Downtown Phoenix Partnership.

ChemResearch Co., Inc., was founded in 1958 and is a certified, registered single-source metal finishing provider for the aerospace, defense, medical, electronics, automotive and commercial industries. The company's 55,000 square foot facility in Phoenix serves multiple regional machine shops as well as original equipment manufacturers such as Boeing, Honeywell, Goodrich, Parker Aerospace, Bell Helicopter, Rolls Royce and Space X.

Summit Builders was founded in 1986 and has completed major public and private construction projects in nine states. Notable Arizona projects include the Naco Border Patrol station in Bisbee, West Sixth student housing condominiums in Tempe and Silverstone continuing care retirement community in Scottsdale.

Undocumented workers create vulnerabilities in today's marketplace by presenting false documents to gain employment, completing applications for fraudulent benefits, and stealing identities of legal United States workers. To combat this, ICE initiated the IMAGE program in 2006.

As part of the IMAGE program, ICE provides private companies with education and training on proper hiring procedures, including use of employment screening tools such as E-Verify. IMAGE certified companies also undergo an audit of their I-9 forms to ensure current employees are eligible to work in the United States.

Arizona employers interested in learning more about IMAGE membership may call the ICE IMAGE coordinator in Phoenix at (602) 407-6155 or visit www.ICE.gov/image.