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The federal government will be sending 2010 census questionnaires starting March. The results of the census help decide how 400 billion dollars is spent nationwide, were to build new schools and hospitals, how many seats each state will have in the US House of Representatives, and aid determining boundaries for state and local legislative and congressional districts.
It is a citizen’s legal responsibility to fill out the 10-question document and send it back. However, some folks might be busy, or simply forget. And with an estimated 310 million people in the US, it’s a census taker’s, or numerator’s, job to catch the ones who fall through the cracks.
Bruce Budny, Henrico Local Census Office Manager, is looking for about 1000 workers to do just that; go door to door and help those who need it.
But what kind of people is Budny looking for? I’ll let him explain.
Budny – What kind of people
He is asking for about 30 hours a week over a 6 to 8 week period, and is starting base pay at 16.25 an hour. Considering about 1 in 5 applicants will be hired, you might have a good chance. Budny details the job a bit more.
Budny – what they do
There are few requirements or limits on getting the job of census numerator. You must be a US citizen, and be willing to have a criminal background check. There are some offenses that could keep you from getting a census job, though Budney suggests people should go ahead and apply and then let the system run the background check. He was unable to make any official comment about denial of work based on past convictions. There is no drug test required.
Patrick Lowery, a stagehand from Richmond, is currently going through the application process. He first heard about census jobs after watching a story about it on CNN. He called his local census office and set up an appointment to interview and take the proficiency test. Lowery felt pretty confident after his test session.
Lowery – test story
With the sad state of the local job market, any job is a good job. Census work, though short term, can add to a resume. Maggie Wallen, a recruiter for Tech-head in Richmond, says census work requires skills people are looking for in the modern job market.
Maggie – recruiter
Darrel Brown, a server in Richmond, has worked for the last 2 censuses. Not only did he feel well compensated for the job, he described the work as fairly easy and felt good about how it would affect his community.
Brown - community
Budny feels similarly, and believes his work plays a pivotal roll in the democratic process.
Budny – why he does it
For more job info, call the Richmond Census office at (804) 916-6370
For Richmond Independent Radio News, I’m Brad Kutner.