U.S. Census Bureau hiring census takers for 2020 count

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The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring census takers to assist with the 2020 Census.

These workers will be called on to visit residents who do not respond to a questionnaire that will ask how many individuals live in their household, among other information.

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The U.S. Census Bureau conducts a count of each person living in the country each decade. National Census Day is April 1.

In an interview, Roberto Frugone, media specialist at the New York Regional Census Center, said the census determines how many seats each state is allocated in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Frugone also said the census “is used to determine the allocation of over $675 billion in federal funds annually to the states and communities.”

For households that do not respond to the census questionnaire online, by phone or by mail, Frugone said the U.S. Census Bureau will dispatch a census taker to that household. The census taker will attempt to acquire the information in person.

“The advantage of responding online or by phone is that the questionnaire is available in English plus an additional 12 non-English languages. The paper questionnaire is available in English and Spanish.

“… During the non-response follow-up period, census takers will visit households that have not responded to the census, speaking with residents and using electronic devices to collect census responses,” Frugone said.

To be hired as a census taker, an individual must meet certain requirements. An individual must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number, be a U.S. citizen and have a valid email address.

According to 2020census.gov, an individual seeking employment must also complete an application; answer assessment questions; be able to speak, read and write in English; be registered with the Selective Service System or have a qualifying exemption; undergo fingerprinting, pass a criminal background check and a review of criminal records; complete training; and be available to work flexible hours.

Asked how responding to the census benefits a community, Frugone said, “Over $675 billion in federal funds are allocated to the states annually based on census results. These funds pay for programs such as Medicaid, Section 8 housing, school lunch programs, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Head Start and more. A complete and accurate count ensures these resources are reaching the communities where they are needed.”

WIC is a federal assistance program of the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for healthcare and nutrition of low-income pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children under the age of 5.

Head Start is a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that provides comprehensive early childhood education and health, nutrition and parent involvement services to low-income children and families.

According to 2020census.gov, a census taker in Monmouth County will be paid $20 per hour. Census takers may also receive reimbursement for work-related mileage and expenses. Most positions are anticipated to last several weeks.

“While responding to the census is required by law, there are many consequences for a community that is not accurately counted,” Frugone said. “Federal funds will go to where there is a documented need.

“In communities that lack an accurate count, businesses and nonprofit organizations will lack the documented supporting evidence needed to make decisions to bring in products and services or expand job opportunities there. Schools will receive less than the needed resources to support their actual student body population,” Frugone said.

To apply for a position as a census taker, visit www.2020census.gov/jobs

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