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U.S. Census Bureau looking to hire 2,000 in Rochester region

March 26, 2019 05:50 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- The U.S. Census Bureau wants to hire 2,000 people locally to help make sure others in the Rochester region take the 2020 census.

The bureau will open an office in Rochester this summer so it's looking for people to run and manage that. It also needs folks to go door-to-door in the community and collect answers from people who don't fill out the survey on their own.  

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This time next year, we'll all be asked to complete the U.S. census. For the first time ever, you can do it online.

If you don't like that method, you can fill out the form and send it back through the mail or you can call a toll-free number to take it. If you fail to do any of that, you'll get a visitor.

"We need people that people trust to knock on the door and say, 'hi, I'm here on behalf of the census, you haven't filled it out, we need you to fill out and this is the reason why,'" says Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren.

Census takers can collect your answers on the spot. 

As for the reasons why it's important to oblige, "there's so many funding streams that come to our community and our county that we would lose if there is not a complete count," Mayor Warren says.

Census data is used to determine how much states get for programs like WIC, Medicaid, the National School Lunch program and senior centers.

"We believe that if we do not have an accurate count, our most vulnerable citizens will be most impacted," Mayor Warren explains. 

Another big reason census takers will be aggressive is there are congressional seats on the line. A state's representation in Congress is based on its population and New York lost 49,000 people from 2017-2018.

"Our area is not a growth area and so we're not like some of the places in the south or in Texas where they are growing like crazy, so we need to be sure that we're counting every person that lives here and then if we lose a seat, we lose a seat but we've done everything we can to be sure we have an accurate count," says Ann Johnson, the director of ACT Rochester.

The information the census will ask is simple.

"Income, age and date of birth, race and ethnicity, whether or not you're of Hispanic origin, gender, we don't know yet about the citizenship question whether that will be on or not, whether you own or rent your home and a couple operational questions. That's it. We don't ask for social security numbers, we never ask for money or checking or credit card information," says Jeff Behler, regional director of the New York Census Center.

For those worried about privacy, Behler says don't be.

"No administration, not homeland security, not immigrant services, FBI, CIA, can access our data for any reason," he explains.  

If you're interested in one of the available census jobs, you should apply online. The positions include: 

  • Recruiting assistants ($18.50 per hour) travel throughout geographic areas to visit with community-based organizations, attend promotional events and conduct other recruiting activities.
  • Office operations supervisors ($17.50 per hour) assist in the management of office functions and day-to-day activities in one or more functional areas, including payroll, personnel, recruiting, field operations and support.
  • Clerks ($13.50 per hour) perform various administrative and clerical tasks to support various functional areas, including payroll, personnel, recruiting, field operations and support.
  • Census field supervisors ($18.50 per hour) conduct fieldwork to support and conduct on-the-job training for census takers, and/or to follow-up in situations where census takers have confronted issues such as not gaining entry to restricted areas.
  • Census takers ($17.00 per hour) work in the field. Some field positions require employees to work during the day to see addresses on buildings. Other field positions require interviewing the public, so employees must be available to work when people are usually at home such as in the evening and on weekends.

To apply online and for more information, click here or call 1-855-JOB-2020.

Credits

Jennifer Lewke

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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