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Census gearing up for spring 2010 hiring
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Hundreds of thousands census jobs will be coming to the region in the coming months as the U.S. Census Bureau gears up for its decennial population count in spring of 2010.

Each field office will hire about 1,000 to 1,200 local census workers, according to Ed Davis, partnership coordinator for the Atlanta Region. Hiring for periods of six to eight weeks will start in January, although the peak hiring season for part-time temporary census takers —the bulk of the positions — won’t be until April, May and June. Davis recommends that those who are interested should apply sooner than later.

"There’s a process that’s not a quick process," he said.

There is a test in basic skills, such as math, reading, instruction following, and map reading, that takes about 30 minutes but he recommends applicants schedule about three hours, in order to wait for the test scoring. Applicants will need to bring their driver’s license and proof of citizenship as well.

Wages can range from $10 to $19 an hour and is based on the area market.

Once applicants pass the test and complete their application, they will be entered into a pool of available workers and called as the positions are needed.

The local offices will especially be looking for local workers who know the area, in addition to bilingual workers and veterans.

"This is a very grass roots part of the operation. You can’t bring someone from Dalton to Rockdale. We hire from the communities," he said.

There are 57 local census offices. The Stockbridge office will cover several counties, including Rockdale, but other nearby offices include DeKalb.

The census forms are sent out mid-March and due on April 1. Census workers will be sent out to those who do not fill out and return the forms.

Taking part in the census and having an accurate count is vitally important, said Davis, The census helps determine the allocation of about $400 billion in federal and state funds.

"The census determines how that much money is spent in community on things like roads, parks, housing, schools, public safety," he explained. "We are involved in a huge undertaking… We like to say its how America knows what it needs."