Posted: July 14th, 2014 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: Florida Businesses, Florida Immigrants, Immigrant Businesses, Immigrant Investors, LED USA | No Comments »
Founded by a Florida immigrant, LED USA is a new Florida enterprise that provides commercial lighting solutions with the goal of reducing costs and environmental impacts for your building. ImmigrationSarasota.com recently spoke with Ric Robideau of LED USA to learn more.
Discover LED USA on Facebook. Click on the image.
The company was formed in April 2014 by Giovanni Giannini, an architect from South Africa. Ric, an electrical engineer who’s worked on projects for Tervis Tumblr and other major corporations in Florida, is the projects manager.
Ric and Giovanni noticed a problem. Commercial building owners were wasting money on outdated and inefficient lighting (lighting costs can reach up to 70% of a building’s electric bill). Moreover, owners were going to have to switch their lighting eventually as the government is actually phasing out incandescent and fluorescent lights. But there were few providers with the expertise and business savvy to properly help them. They decided to become the solution.
For their first project, they took on the landmark Palm Towers in downtown Sarasota. Palm Towers was using a combination of fluorescent and incandescent lighting. With a free energy audit, LED USA found that the building could save $.9 per lightbulb. In addition, LED USA found they could introduce smart technology to further lower energy costs. They estimated the retrofit would cost $60,000 but the savings would begin immediately; $39,000 in savings per year to be exact. In only 2.1 years the savings would pay for the initial investment. What’s more, LED lights have a warranty of 10 years so the savings would continue. By the end of 10 years the building should save a net of about $312,000 on its energy bills.
LED USA has also performed an energy audit on a nearby restaurant. The bill for that retrofit would come to $3,000 but the savings would start at $4,300 per year; producing an even quicker return than the Palm Towers.
Today, LED USA is quoting companies on projects of up to $250,000.
LED USA rests on the quality of its products. They offer GE or Cree LED lights, which meet the highest underwriting standards. There’s no compromise on the amount of light. In fact, some would argue that switching to LEDs improves the light quantity and quality in a building, as these before and after photos show.
LED USA is also a LEED qualified lighting provider, the most widely-recognized environmental vetting a company can achieve.
Financing is available for projects up to $3 million. Even with financing charges, companies still see positive cashflow after their building starts saving energy.
For more information feel free to contact Ric (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Giovanni (LEDGiovanni@verizon.net).
Posted: July 7th, 2014 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: Employer & Student Visas | Tags: F Visas, International Students, M Visas, Student Visas | No Comments »
Reposted from DHS bulletin.
Numbers and origin of international students in US from January-April 2014. Image by Charles Reed
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched an enhanced Study in the States website Monday with four new features. The features enable the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), housed within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), to convey pertinent information to stakeholders about the international student process in a clear and interactive manner.
The new features include:
- An interactive glossary
- An “Ask a Question” section
- An enhanced School Search page
- A mobile-ready version of Study in the States
“Being an international student is a complex process that involves several government agencies, and the new Study in the States tools will help students and schools easily find the latest news, information, interactive guides and videos they need,” said SEVP Director Lou Farrell.
The revamped site also features streamlined navigation and a blog geared to international students and school officials. Users can translate the site into multiple languages.
The Study in the States website serves as an information hub for the international student community. It brings together the various federal agencies that play a role in implementing our student visa and exchange visitor programs, including ICE, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Study in the States was launched by former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in 2011, as part of a larger DHS initiative to enhance economic, scientific and technological competitiveness by finding new ways to encourage the most talented international students to study and learn about expanded post-graduate opportunities in the United States. This initiative includes a focus on streamlining the student visa process, enhancing coordination among government agencies and keeping international students better informed about student visa rules and regulations.
SEVP monitors approximately one million international students pursuing academic or vocational studies (F and M visa holders) in the United States and their dependents. It also certifies schools and programs that enroll these students. The U.S. Department of State monitors exchange visitors (J visa holders) and their dependents, and oversees exchange visitor programs.
Both use the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to protect national security by ensuring that students, visitors and schools comply with U.S. laws. SEVP also collects and shares SEVIS information with government partners, including CBP and USCIS, so only legitimate international students and exchange visitors gain entry into the United States.
HSI reviews potential SEVIS records for potential violations and refers cases with potential national security or public safety concerns to its field offices for further investigation. Additionally, SEVP’s Analysis and Operations Center reviews student and school records for administrative compliance with federal regulations related to studying in the United States.