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Census 2010

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Workers sought to count population

By Bryan Marshall

It may be two years away, but local workers are already being recruited for the 2010 U.S. Census.

The census, a count of everyone residing in the country, occurs every 10 years and the Census Bureau must count everyone and submit state population totals to the U.S. president by Dec. 31, 2010.

The first census was conducted in 1790.

Diane Reed, who worked 10 months as an enumerator eight years ago, recently was at a Dry Ridge City Council meeting to discuss recruiting census takers.

“Although it’s two years from now, we’re starting to recruit now,” she said. “We’re going to start hiring in January. As of April 1, I’ll be bringing 65 jobs to Grant County.”

Census takers, who work in their own communities updating address lists and interviewing household members, are the biggest need.

Census questionnaires will be mailed or delivered to every household in the United States in March 2010. The questions ask recipients to provide information that is accurate for their household as of April 1, 2010.

A second form will be mailed to households that do not respond to the initial questionnaire.

Households that still do not respond will be called or visited by a census worker, who can be identified by a census badge and bag.

The population totals determine each state’s Congressional representation.

The numbers also affect funding in communities and help inform decision makers about how communities are changing.

Pay for census workers can range from $13.75 to $15.25 per hour, depending on the level of responsibility, Reed said.

Mileage also is paid for census workers.

“You could work 10 weeks to two years,” said Reed.

An applicant may qualify if they are a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old, have a valid social security number and driver’s license, pass a background check and commit to three and a half days of paid training.

A 30-minute basic skills test consisting of 28 multiple-choice questions measuring knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform a variety of census jobs also is required.

The five parts of the test include clerical skills, reading, number skills, interpreting information and evaluating alternatives and organizational skills.

Reed recently conducted her first testing session at the Grant County Public Library and plans more in the future.

“It’s flexible hours, 20 to 40 hours a week,” she said. “They work on their own time as long as they get it done. We need people who know the county.”

Application forms can be found at www.census.gov/2010censusjobs.For more information, call toll-free at 1-866-861-2010.