03/12/10 — Wayne one of counties short staff on census

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Wayne one of counties short staff on census

By Staff Reports
Published in News on March 12, 2010 1:46 PM

The local United States Census Office has announced there is a serious shortage of census workers in Wayne County.

The census, ordered to be held every 10 years by the Constitution and first taken in 1790, will be conducted this year.

According to Gov. Beverly Perdue, there are more than a thousand census jobs still available in through the Rocky Mount Local Census Office, which serves Wayne, Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Edgecombe, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell, Washington and Wilson counties.

The U.S. Census Bureau began hiring in January and is continuing to look for employees. Census forms will be mailed to residents next week and April 1 has been designated National Census Day as an effort to get the forms returned as soon as possible.

From April through July, census takers visit households that did not return a form by mail to get the information needed to create the snapshot of America that serves as a guide for planners in all fields over the next decade, including deciding representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Seventy-two percent of Americans answered the census in 2000. Federal officials are hoping to improve on that percentage this year.

According to the U.S. Census Web site, census jobs offer good pay, flexible hours, paid training, and reimbursement for authorized work-related expenses, such as mileage incurred while conducting census work. Census takers work in their own neighborhoods.

The application form is available at www.2010censusjobs.gov, by calling 1-866-861-2010 or by contacting the local office at Rocky Mount LCO, 130 S. Fairview Road, Rocky Mount, NC 27801.

The census workers will assist residents in filling out the census forms and answering any questions they might have.

This year's census is short, with only 10 questions.

To qualify for the temporary census employment, you must be: able to read, write and speak English; a U.S. citizen; a legal permanent resident or non-resident with an appropriate work visa and possess a bilingual skill for which there are no available qualified U.S. citizens; at least 18 years old; have a valid social security number; pass a written test of basic skills; have a valid driver's license; pass a background check; commit to four days of training.

Bilingual workers are especially valuable. All census takers must be able to speak English, but people who have bilingual skills are needed in communities where a large number of residents primarily speak other languages.

An accurate count is critical as recent estimates indicate the state will receive approximately $15,000 in federal funding per person counted over the next 10 years.