U.S. Census seeking help for 2020 count

Robert Houk • Nov 5, 2019 at 6:43 PM

Preliminary work is underway for the census next year, including taking applications for temporary employees to collect the information needed for the federal count mandated by the Constitution.

June Iljana, partnership/media specialist for the Philadelphia Regional Census Center, said Tuesday “a very strong recruiting effort is underway in Washington County for temporary paid census workers.”

She said these positions provide an opportunity to earn some extra income — starting at $14 per hour plus 58-cents per mile in travel reimbursement and paid training — while gathering essential data.

Iljana said census takers work in the field interviewing the public, so employees must be available to work when people are usually at home, such as in the evening and on weekends.

Census field supervisors conduct field work to support and conduct on-the-job training for census takers and do follow-up in situations where census takers have encountered issues, such as not gaining entry to restricted areas.

Any U.S. citizen age 18 years or older with a valid Social Security number, email address and reliable transportation can apply online at 2020census/jobs.gov.

“Those applications should be submitted before the end of the year,” Iljana said. “There is a background check required because our employees are entrusted to visit people’s homes and handle personal information.”

Applicant interviews and training for census takers will begin in January. The actual census will be conducted in April, May and June and is expected to take between three and eight weeks to complete.

“The results of the 2020 census will help determine each state’s representation in Congress, as well as how certain funds are spent for schools, hospitals, roads and more,” Iljana said. “This is your chance to play a part in history, and help ensure that everyone in your community is counted.”

Federal officials will not contact residents by email unless they have applied to work for the Census Bureau.

“If we call you on the phone, it will only be to verify information provided on your survey response,” she said. “The census will not ask you for your full Social Security number or for any financial information such as banking or credit information.”

The Census Bureau will not offer incentives or gifts in return for providing the requested information. If a person shows up at your door and says they are with the census, make sure they have a photo ID from the U.S. Department of Commerce. You may also request a second form of ID to verify their identity.

“If you are still unsure, you may check our employee roster at www.census.gov,” Iljana said.

Kevin Flanary is the Census Bureau partnership specialist for Washington, Sullivan, Carter, Unicoi and Johnson Counties. If you are interested in partnership opportunities or making sure your community is accurately counted, contact him at kevin.t.flanary@2020census.gov.