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01/18/2012

Phoenix construction companies become 'IMAGE certified'

Two Phoenix construction companies become 'IMAGE certified'
Two Phoenix construction companies become 'IMAGE certified'
PHOENIX — Two Phoenix-based companies known for their construction, electrical and telecommunications work on area landmarks are partnering with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to strengthen their hiring practices, reduce fraud and ensure they employ a legal workforce.

Pete King Construction Co. and Kearney Electric Inc. were 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.

"I am pleased to welcome Pete King Construction and Kearney Electric as ICE IMAGE certified partners," said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Arizona. "These companies are well known for their work building some of the most prominent structures in the Valley. Now, they join other IMAGE-certified companies across the nation in building new hiring standards in the construction and electrical service industries--standards that protect the integrity of the U.S. workforce."

Pete King Construction Co. has been in business since 1943. The company was a subcontractor for major construction projects such as Chase Field and the Phoenician Resort in Phoenix and the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"Pete King Construction Company is proud to be formally accepted into the ICE IMAGE program," said Jeffry King, Pete King Construction president. "This step further enhances our value to the Arizona construction industry and reinforces our philosophy of maintaining a productive, safe and profitable environment for the company and employees. For more than 60 years the Pete King Companies have been helping to build Arizona. With this, we continue to work at maintaining our solid reputation as an industry leader, quality contractor, and great employer."

Kearney Electric, Inc. was founded in 1977 and has provided electrical installation for such notable projects as the Arizona Center towers in downtown Phoenix and the Mayo Clinic vertical expansion project in Scottsdale, as well as telecommunications installation for the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

"We always strive to be compliant with state and federal laws and, after attending a seminar on the IMAGE program, we felt it was a really good initiative for our company," said Greg Frost, president of Kearney Electric. "This partnership creates for us a valuable resource, which we have already utilized, to assist us with any questions that may arise. We are proud to be a partner in the IMAGE Program which helps to support our efforts to be in compliance now and in the future."

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.