Jessica Cejnar / Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019 @ 2:47 p.m. / Community

Need a Job? Check With the U.S. Census Bureau

With volunteers spearheading the public outreach side of things, the U.S. Census Bureau is looking for people verify addresses and, eventually, conduct questionnaires locally.

A temporary job with the Census Bureau pays $16.50 an hour in Del Norte County, according to the Bureau's website. In Curry County, Oregon, a Census Bureau job pays $14.50 an hour, according to the Bureau's website.

Anyone over 18 can apply, including those receiving benefits through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said Lindsay McCovey, the Census Bureau’s tribal partner specialist for Northern California.

“(Those programs) are going to exempt those incomes, which is amazing because they’ll be over qualified with that pay range,” McCovey said. “They do need to check with their caseworker. It is a little bit different depending on each county or case they have.”

The Census Bureau is looking for at least 1,200 applicants, McCovey said. Though it’s constantly accepting applications, McCovey said, the Census Bureau will be focused on attracting address canvassers, who will be tasked with verifying the existence of structures or adding new ones.

Address canvassing is expected to begin shortly, according to McCovey.

The next set of operations will begin toward the end of this year and in January when the Bureau will look for enumerators.

“Enumerators are the ones going door to door,” McCovey said. “They’re knocking on the door and asking questionnaires. We’re constantly advertising for those positions.”

According to McCovey, those hired by the Census will work flexible hours and can pick up extra hours if they want. She said the Census Bureau doesn’t want to discourage anyone from applying, including those with a criminal history.

“It’s going to be a case by case basis,” she said. “They will need to have transportation. They get paid mileage reimbursement.”

Meanwhile, volunteers with Complete Count Committees will be encouraging residents to participate in the Census. Formed by Humboldt State University’s California Center for Rural Policy, the Del Norte Complete Count Committee held its first meeting last month. Del Norte County contracted with CCRP to spearhead Census outreach locally.

Local tribes including the Yurok, Hoopa, Karuk and Bear River tribes have also started their own complete count committees, McCovey said. Any organization can form their own complete count committee as long as it consists of two or more people, she said.

Information residents share with the U.S. Census is confidential. The Census Bureau is prohibited from sharing people’s answers with any federal, state or tribal agency, McCovey said. Though the name of a resident may be on the questionnaire, it is removed in the report sent to the United States President on Dec. 31, 2020, McCovey said.

That information is then locked in a vault for 72 years when it is then made available to the public, she said.

“The key thing is we rely on these community complete count committees to have a better understanding and have that trust out there that they are going to be protected,” McCovey said. “We’re not sharing information with TANF programs or tribes or any program law enforcement. It’s 100 percent confidential.”

About $675 billion in funding is distributed across the United States annually based on Census data, McCovey said. This pays for road repairs, schools, county and housing programs. Census data also factors into redistricting Congressional boundaries.

Residents will also be able to respond to Census questionnaires online as early as March 12, 2020, McCovey said. This is good for those who don’t want someone knocking on their door, she noted.

“This is for a great cause. Not just for now, but for our future generations,” McCovey said. “I’m pretty passionate about this because I too am from this area and I know the need and how that will affect our area.”

More information about U.S. Census Bureau jobs, including pay rates for individual counties, can be found here.


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