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2 Phoenix companies become 'IMAGE certified'

2 Phoenix companies become 'IMAGE certified'
2 Phoenix companies become 'IMAGE certified'
PHOENIX — Two Valley-based businesses representing the architecture and design and construction 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.

FM Solutions and Tiffany Construction Co., both based in Phoenix, were certified as "IMAGE" or "ICE Mutual Agreement Between Government and Employers" partners during a ceremony Friday. IMAGE is a voluntary program that allows private industry to partner with ICE to reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents.

"HSI recognizes that the highest level of workforce integrity can only be achieved through close coordination with industry partners," said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of HSI Arizona. "It is my pleasure to welcome FM Solutions and Tiffany Construction to the IMAGE family of business participants who are committed to maintaining a lawful work force."

FM Solutions is a full-service architecture and design firm with 25 full-time employees. The company provides planning, design, maintenance and operations for mid-to large-sized clients in both the public and private sectors. Notable Arizona clients include Arizona Public Service, Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Clear Channel Outdoor, Arizona Center and Cityscape Kimpton Hotel.

"Ask any of our clients and they will say the same thing - collaboration, integrity and excellence aren't just words to FM Solutions. They are living, breathing pillars of our success and are embodied in each person at the company," said Nancy Allocca, FM Solutions financials associate. "We are honored to be accepted into ICE's IMAGE program because we believe it further proves our commitment to our clients and our community."

Tiffany Construction has been in business since 1925 and based in Arizona since 1934. The company maintains business offices in Phoenix and Sedona, Ariz., and employs 100 full-time employees and as many as 50 seasonal workers. Tiffany performs heavy civil engineering construction and improvements for a variety of public and private projects, including streets, golf courses, utilities and drainage structures. Clients include Arizona's Coconino County, the cities of Cottonwood and Sedona, Kachina Village Improvement District, Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station and Arizona Public Service.

"Tiffany Construction looks forward to participating in this program and believes it will be beneficial for us as well as for the people that we contract with," said Lyndon Larson, treasurer of Tiffany Companies.

Undocumented workers can 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. To date, 20 Arizona companies have become certified IMAGE partners.

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 are invited to attend one of the agency's IMAGE information and training forums, which are scheduled for April 9 in Tucson, Ariz., and April 11 in Phoenix. For more information, employers may call the ICE IMAGE coordinator in Phoenix at (602) 407-6155 or visit www.ICE.gov/image.