Most of us in the construction industry will agree that the industry has an image problem, that being “the industry is not the most attractive alternative for job seekers when compared to other jobs.”
There is another “image” out there that we need to pay attention to now. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (more commonly known as ICE) has a program called by the acronym IMAGE. That stands for ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers or IMAGE, just one of the many programs that ICE has instituted in its efforts to control the employment of undocumented workers in the workforce.
ICE also applies to the illegal workers who are using falsified documents to go to work in the construction Industry.
Recently, the first Image agreement in the state of South Carolina was signed by Coastal Steel & Acoustics. By signing the Image Agreement, Coastal agreed to six things:
1. Complete a self-assessment questionnaire,
2. Enroll in e-verify,
3. Enroll in the Social Security Number Verification Service,
4. Adhere to the IMAGE 12 best employment practices,
5. Undergo an I-9 audit and
6. Review and sign and IMAGE agreement with ICE.
Coastal cited safety concerns and the lack of English speaking workers being used by some subs as reasons that they agreed to sign an IMAGE agreement with ICE. We can expect more of these agreements to be signed by other construction companies across the nation as a way to provide their owners with a safe working environment on their jobsites.
Have you or any of your peer companies or contractors signed one of these agreements?