Census workers sought in Suffolk

Published 10:22 pm Friday, January 16, 2009

For the many people in Suffolk who are out of work, the 2010 U.S. Census could be a way to help them get back on their feet.

The 2010 Census has jobs available – starting in spring 2009 – for people living in Suffolk.

“We need a lot of people down there in your area,” said Rose Smith, a representative at the U.S. Census. “We’re going to need a lot of help.”

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The U.S. Census, held every 10 years, helps determine representation in government, along with how federal funds are spent in the community on roads, parks, housing, schools, public safety and the like.

The main job starting in the spring for the U.S. Census is address canvassing, when census takers visit all the homes in their assigned areas and knock on doors to verify correct addresses for the census questionnaire that will be mailed in 2010. In 2010, census takers will be needed to follow up with people who did not return the mail-delivered census form.

Positions with the U.S. Census start at $13 per hour. Tests for census takers are being given in Suffolk at the Workforce Development Center, 157 N. Main St. To find out what times tests are being given, call 804-916-5460.

Census takers must be able to work about 20 to 40 hours per week. The work schedule is flexible, but generally, address canvassing requires work during daylight hours, and follow-up will include working nights and weekends.

A census taker must be able to read, write and speak English (bilingual skills are a plus), be a U.S. citizen, be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number and a valid driver’s license. Census takers must be able to pass background checks and written tests, and they must commit to four days of paid training. Men born after Dec. 31, 1959 must be registered for the draft.

The test includes 28 multiple-choice questions of basic skills, including clerical skills, number skills, reading skills, interpreting information and evaluation alternatives, and organization skills. Those who do not score well enough on the test may retake it.

To download and fill out a census application, visit http://2010.census.gov/2010censusjobs/documents/documents.php.