TAMPA, Fla. — A county school district and four private companies specializing in a variety of fresh, frozen meats and seafood products became the latest employers to be certified by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) employment compliance program called IMAGE at a ceremony here Wednesday.
IMAGE stands for ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers. As part of this agreement, Santa Rosa County School District, Colorado Boxed Beef Company and its 3 subsidiaries: ATG Transportation LLC, PREFCO Distribution LLC and The Great Fish Company LLC, have pledged to maintain a secure and stable workforce and curtail the employment of unauthorized workers through outreach and education. To qualify for IMAGE certification, companies must meet the following requirements:
- Complete the IMAGE Self-Assessment Questionnaire (Application);
- Enroll in the E-Verify program within 60 days;
- Establish a written hiring and employment eligibility verification policy that includes internal Form I-9 audits at least once per year; and
- Submit to a Form I-9 inspection.
Santa Rosa County School District serves approximately 26,000 students in Pre-K through Adult Education programs by way of 35 schools and support sites. With an elected superintendent and five school board members who are elected for four years and supported by 2,600 employees, Santa Rosa County School District is the largest employer in Santa Rosa County.
"As the largest employer in Santa Rosa County it is important to us to ensure we follow the best hiring practices available," said Tim Wyrosdick, superintendent of schools at Santa Rosa County School District. "We are proud to join U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the IMAGE program and look forward to the greater efficiencies it brings to our company."
Colorado Boxed Beef Company and its subsidiaries ATG Transportation LLC, PREFCO Distribution LLC and The Great Fish Company LLC are a family owned and operated leading distributor of refrigerated and frozen beef, pork, poultry, lamb, veal, seafood, cheese, lunch meat and a variety of fresh, frozen and dry products with more than 6,000 deliveries per week globally and employing over 645 people.
"We are happy to partner with ICE on this important initiative," said John Rattigan, president and CEO of Colorado Boxed Beef Company. "Working with HSI auditors and special agents in a strategic manner and being proactive is the best approach for our company."
The Santa Rosa County School District and the Colorado Boxed Beef Company and its 3 subsidiaries join 19 additional central and northern Florida companies with more than 189,000 employees participating in the IMAGE program. Publix Super Markets Inc. EKS Group LLC, Visual Awareness Technologies and Consulting Inc. Pelican Bay LTD, Gravity-Ratterman LLC and Ramcon LLC, are some of the most recent employers to be certified by the IMAGE program.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) E-Verify employment eligibility verification program enables employers to verify that newly hired employees are eligible to work in the United States. This Internet-based system is available throughout the nation and is free to employers. It provides an automated link to the Social Security Administration database and DHS immigration records.
Companies interested in more information about the IMAGE program can call 813-357-7137 or visit ICE.gov/image.