Help wanted: Census takers!
The bureau is hiring a million people nationwide – Walmart numbers, people – to go door to door for eight weeks this spring to complete and collect decennial census forms from people who haven’t yet mailed them in. The pay is (a decidedly non-Walmart) $22 an hour, and the bureau will start hiring at the end of this month.
If you’re interested in the gig, there’s a test (practice test and all the info you need are here), and you can schedule it by checking in with the nice folks in the bureau’s Alameda office, at 764-2941. If you pass the test, it sounds like you’ll join a pool of applicants selected in a random-type computer drawing (though it sounds like the computer takes skills like multiple languages into account).
“Our pool of applicants is big. We’re testing a lot of people,” said Edel Orantes, the very nice person who answered the telephone when I called the bureau’s Harbor Bay Parkway office. Orantes, who has worked previous censuses, said she thinks high unemployment is a reason the number of applicants is so high.
Despite the numbers, Orantes encourages everyone who calls to take the leap of faith and apply.
“Take the chance and take the test because you never know,” she tells prospective applicants. “God is good. You may get picked.”
Incidentally, those forms are supposed to be going out in the middle of March, and in addition to providing us buckets of information about our little Island, the federal government uses the numbers to figure out where to spend about $400 billion. They’ve got a whole website for the 2010 Census (translatable into a boatload of languages!) right here.