U.S. Census hiring local workers for 2020 count

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – The United States Census Bureau is looking to hire more than 1,000 more workers in Shelby County to help during the official 2020 census count, and is encouraging those interested to apply on the agency’s website.

Emma Duncan with the Census Bureau spoke to the Shelby County Commission during an April 8 meeting, and said the agency is behind on its number of employees in Shelby County and across the state, and said many jobs are still available for locals who are interested.

Duncan said the Bureau currently has about 235 employees to help with the 2020 count in Shelby County, but is looking to hire a total of 1,300.

“We are hurting on recruiting right now, and that’s with all counties across the state,” Duncan told Commission members.

The Census jobs will pay $18 per hour, and offer paid training and mileage reimbursement. To be eligible for the jobs, applicants must be at least 18 years old, be a United States citizen, have a valid Social Security number, be able to pass a background check and have reliable transportation, Duncan said.

The Bureau will start calling employees in early May to schedule training, and employees will start address canvasing for the 2020 count beginning this summer, she said. Those interested in applying for the jobs should visit 2020census.gov/jobs.

Census employees in Shelby County will help to get an accurate count of the county’s citizens for the official 2020 count, which is important for many reasons, said Shelby County Manager Alex Dudchock.

Highway funding, school funding, United States Congress representation and more are determined by the census count, meaning the county wants to get as accurate a count as possible, Dudchock said.

“In 2010, our goal was to get 80-percent participation. Our number for this year is 90 percent or greater, and that’s going to take a lot of work,” Dudchock said, noting the county’s census complete count committee is working with area homeowners associations to spread the word about the census’ online reporting system for the 2020 count. “Our thought is to count everyone, and everyone counts.”