In Jan. 10 IssueBy Derek AaronRussell County News Editor
The 2010 U.S. Census is more than a year away but Russell Countians who may be looking for a little extra cash in these tough economic times can apply now to possibly become a temporary census taker.
“We are testing now for census takers,” said Juanita Elison, the local census office manager in Lexington.
“The next test in Russell County is scheduled for Jan. 20 at 10 a.m. at the Russell County Courthouse.”
Elison said taking the test is the initial part of becoming a census taker. To register for the test one must call their toll-free Jobs line at 1-866-861-2010.
After registering, a person must show up with a valid driver’s license and a Social Security card to take the test, according to Elison. She noted veterans receive five bonus points on the test while widows of veterans get 10 bonus points.
She said that widows must bring DD214 and a death certificate to the test.
“We will be starting (preparations) around the middle of March or the first of April,” she said. “And it is looking like we’re needing people to test in Russell County.”
The government’s census program, updated every 10 years, is looked at as a very valuable asset to the country and a census taker’s job, albeit not permanent, is most important to updating America’s population.
According to the census’ Web site, census takers will work individually as part of a small team in local communities, like Russell Springs and Jamestown.
The Census Bureau promises to hire locally and offers flexible hours and competitive pay as thousands are needed for temporary jobs.
Kentucky’s offices are located in Louisville and Lexington but Lexington’s office currently presides over Russell County. Their office phone number is 859-422-7230.
Lexington’s office pays $10.75 per hour and Elison noted that in October of this year a census office will be opening in nearby Somerset where the pay rate will remain the same.
Some tasks that will be required of census workers include updating address lists and conducting interviews with residents, according to the government.
Most positions with the census undertaking require a valid driver’s license and use of a vehicle.
Payments will be made to census takers on a weekly basis and workers will be reimbursed for authorized mileage and related expenses, according to the government.
Being a census taker gives you flexible hours, paid training and the chance to work within your own community but workers will be required to complete all assignments on a deadline.
Census results go a long way toward determining your representation in government, as well as how federal funds are spent in your community on things like roads, parks, housing, schools and public safety, according to the Web site.
Census takers are expected to visit all residences in their assigned area to verify address lists and record information on a small, hand held computing device, which then transmits the data via wireless communications back to census headquarters.
Some census takers will be asked to work in a local census office, where they will perform standard office processing work, usually during normal weekday business hours, although some evening or weekend work may be assigned if needed, according to the Web site.
Census questionnaires will be mailed or delivered to every home in the United States in March of next year, according to the federal government.
The bureau will mail a second form to homes that do not respond to the initial questionnaire and if there is still no response, the home will be called or visited by a Census taker.
These temporary workers will be identified by a census badge and bag.
The questions on the census ask you to provide information that is accurate for your household as of April 1, 2010.
The Census Bureau must count all residents of the United States. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens and non-citizens before sending state population totals to the new President Barack Obama by December 31, 2010.
On Jan. 1, the U.S. Census Bureau projected the population at 305,529,237 — up 2,743,429, or 0.9 percent, from one year earlier.
In January 2009, one birth is expected to happen every eight seconds in the United States and one death every 12 seconds, according to the bureau.
Also, international migration is expected to add one person every 36 seconds to the population this month, resulting in an increase in the total population of one person every 14 seconds.
In retrospect, the first census, taken in 1790, was taken by U.S. marshals on horseback and counted 3.9 million people.
The last census, taken in 2000, counted more than 281 million people, a number that has risen exponentially even since then.
For more information on the 2010 census, visit the U.S. Census Bureau’s Web site at www.census.gov.