PHOENIX — A large Phoenix-area staffing company with offices in six states has partnered with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in a nationwide program designed to strengthen hiring practices and combat the unlawful employment of unauthorized workers.
Tempe-based Arizona Labor Force was certified as an ICE Mutual Agreement Between Government and Employers (IMAGE) partner during a ceremony Monday. IMAGE is a voluntary program that allows private industry to partner with ICE to reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents.
"With this certification, Arizona Labor Force makes a strong statement in supporting federal hiring laws," said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of HSI Arizona. "When a large staffing company makes a proactive commitment to ensure they provide their customers with a lawful work force, it is not only good for those customers, but benefits the community as a whole."
Arizona Labor Force Inc., a privately-held company founded in 1985, employs 140 full-time staff at 40 branch locations in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Nebraska and Iowa. The company operates under the following national trademarks: Labor Systems Job Center, Allied Forces Temporary Services, General Labor Temporary Services, Alternative Staffing – AZ and Teachers On Call – AZ.
The company employs more than 17,000 temporary workers each year in the construction, industrial, warehouse, manufacturing, clerical, hospitality, special events and skilled and unskilled general labor industries. More than 10,000 workers are employed by Arizona Labor Force each year in the state of Arizona alone.
"As a leading provider of on-demand labor, we understand the challenges and complexity of hiring a diverse workforce," said Paul Turcotte, president of Arizona Labor Force. "For that reason, we knew that an electronic I-9 solution would be our best option. After reviewing multiple software offerings, we felt we would be better served by developing our own proprietary software to electronically process I-9s and integrate with our payroll software. The combination of our comprehensive electronic I-9 process and our well-trained staff helps us ensure that we provide our clients a workforce that is authorized and eligible to work in the United States."
Undocumented workers can create vulnerabilities in today's marketplace by presenting false documents to gain employment, completing applications for fraudulent benefits, and stealing the identities of legal U.S. workers. To combat this, ICE initiated the IMAGE program in 2006. To date, nearly 300 companies, including 26 based in Arizona, have become IMAGE partners.
As part of the IMAGE program, ICE provides private companies with education and training on proper hiring procedures, including the 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.
Employers interested in learning more about IMAGE membership can visit www.ICE.gov/image.