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Census Bureau seeking employees

KINGMAN - The U.S. Census Bureau is looking to hire for the 2010 Census. Gail Sadler, partnership specialist with the bureau, visited Mohave County officials Feb. 11 to discuss the "2010 action plan to achieve a complete count."

The U.S. Constitution requires a census take place every 10 years. According to Census 2010 literature, "The 2010 census will be used by the federal government to allocate $300 billion in funds every year for state, local and tribal programs and services."

"It is very important to Mohave County that census data is accurate," Sadler said. "Future federal funding hangs in the balance. We estimate a loss to the area of $600 to $800 for every resident who is not counted."

And the best way to make sure every resident in Mohave County is counted is to hire Mohave County residents to do the count, she said.

Hiring locally just makes sense. Local people know where the roads go and where to find the houses. "These jobs pay $12 per hour plus mileage," she said. "You must have a car and a driver's license and pass a 30-minute skills test and a background check.

"We will be hiring more than 100 people in this area plus specific groups of Native Americans to work on tribal reservations. An applicant can be 17 when he or she takes the test but must be at least 18 years old to start work."

Residents interested in employment should call (866) 861-2010, Sadler said. "They will be able to talk to a representative who will inform them when and where the next local testing session will be held. We will hire census takers, crew leaders, crew leader assistants and census clerks. Everyone will receive 40 hours of paid training concerning the demographics of the area and how to handle the equipment. During the next two or three weeks, we will do a lot of hiring locally."

Sadler's area of responsibility is made up of Arizona's five northern counties (Mohave, Yavapai, Coconino, Navajo and Apache) and McKinley and San Juan counties in New Mexico. "I am working as a liaison with each of the governing entities in those counties concerning census operations information and to help involve the communities in the efforts," she said.

"I will be visiting city officials, chambers, our faith-based partners and education partners and any group that wants information and can help us get information to the people about how important this census is to the future of the area. It matters so much to all of us who want a road to be paved, a library to remain open or an existing service to continue.

"Congressional redistricting will be based on the 2010 census," she said. "Arizona was the second fastest growing state in the union during 2007 and 2008. Depending on census results, this state may get two more congressional representatives. Future school funding, infrastructure funding, housing assistance and senior service assistance hang in the balance."

Sadler explained that all information gathered is fully secured. "The census employees take a confidentiality oath," she said. "We have never had a breach of that oath. The penalties for any breach of personal information gathered during the survey are $250,000 and five years in prison."

The census survey does not ask for information that could be used in identification theft. "We don't want anyone's Social Security number," she said. "We don't ask for driver's license numbers. We don't even ask if someone is a citizen. What we do want to know is when you were born, how many people live in the house, what kind of house you live in and what your ethnic background is. Every question on the survey is required by law for funding of federal programs."

For more information, call Sadler at (928) 600-1390.