updated 4/4/2013 9:19:56 AM ET

More Tampa Bay area companies pledged to protect the integrity of their workforce by joining U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in an employment compliance program, or "ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers."

The IMAGE program provides employers nationwide with the information and tools needed to ensure a legal, authorized workforce.

"According to federal law, employers are responsible for hiring a workforce that is legally permitted to work here," said Susan McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa.

ICE's Homeland Security Investigations hosted a certification ceremony at its Tampa office Wednesday to welcome its newest participants, Gravity-Ratterman LLC, Ramcon LLC and Pelican Bay Ltd.

Gravity-Ratterman and Ramcon provide roofing services. Pelican Bay produces drink and food mixes and dips. They now join 13 other Florida companies with more than 17,200 employees who participate in IMAGE.

Companies need to meet certain criteria to become eligible for IMAGE certification. In return, IMAGE allows the employers to verify that their new employees can work in US legally.

You can learn more about becoming IMAGE-eligible on