Census Bureau builds local work force for national head count

With the 2010 national head count less than a year away, the U.S. Census Bureau is looking for six people who will head the effort to count all western Colorado residents.

Getting the count right, said spokeswoman Deborah A. Cameron, will require familiarity with local conditions and people.

“It helps if the staff is aware of the different community needs and cultures,” Cameron said.

One example:

In resort communities, “you could have as many as 12 people living in a house designed for six people,” said Reford Theobold, a former Grand Junction city councilman who worked in the 1990 and 2000 census efforts.

The count will take place on April 1, 2010, and officials hope to see a 10 percent improvement in early response over the 2000 effort.

The census is used to determine political representation as well as the distribution of state and federal dollars.

After the count is completed, congressional and state legislative districts are reapportioned and then redrawn.

The Grand Junction office eventually will employ 60 to 80 people, but the first six will be the local office manager and five assistant managers.

Wages will range from $16.75 an hour to $24.50 an hour.

Job descriptions are available at http://www.census.gov/roden/www/2010emply.html. Applications also may be submitted online. The deadline is May 15.

Census takers generally deal with counting the more hard-to-find residents, such as the homeless, Theobold said.

Slackening in the energy industry and the general economic slowdown could result in greater interest in the census jobs, he said. Though he isn’t planning to apply this time to the census,

“I would recommend it to anybody,” Theobold said.


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