11/13/08 — Workers sought to begin preparing for 2010 Census

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Workers sought to begin preparing for 2010 Census

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on November 13, 2008 1:46 PM

The U.S. Census Bureau is beginning to prepare for the 2010 Census count, and it's looking for help.

"Our job, beginning early in 2009, is to complete an operation called the address listing," said John McEwen, Greenville census office manager.

His office covers the 34 counties that sit roughly east of Interstate 95.

But before the count can take place in 2010, census workers are charged with physically verifying the address "for every place people could possibly live.

"We literally go up and down every street and around every block in those 34 counties."

That way, when it comes time to mail the census surveys in 2010, officials have up-to-date information about where people live.

"Our goal is to count everyone and where they live correctly," he said.

The first step is getting census workers.

"Right now recruiting is our primary effort," McEwen said. "We'll need several thousand people."

The job, he explained, is "usually part-time and often intermittent," as census takers -- also called enumerators -- work no more than 40 hours a week for five to 10 weeks locating households, updating address lists, explaining the purpose of the census, conducting interviews and recording responses.

Other positions such as crew leaders, crew leader assistants and recruiting assistants also are available.

Currently there are 17 recruiters out in the 34 counties looking for workers.

For more information, call 1-866-861-2010.

The census, which is mandated by the U.S. Constitution, is done every 10 years and is a count of every person living in the United States. Participation is required by law, and federal regulations protect any personal information provided.

Once collected, the data is then used to distribute Congressional seats to states, to make decisions about what community services are provided and to distribute more than $300 billion each year in federal funds to local, state and tribal governments.