Census could create 1,000 temporary jobs in Kitsap

The U.S. Census Bureau is currently accepting applications to conduct follow-up interviews of people who have submitted their forms within an acceptable time period, and could hire as many as 1,000 people for the task.

And while the word “indigenous” suggests a tribal culture that was in place well before the implementation of government or civilization, the bureau has assigned a broader meaning in this case.

“It is a challenge to recruit a diverse work force,” said Census Partnership Specialist Marcel Maddox, who addressed the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce last week. “We want to get people who are indigenous to the county and know their way around the various neighborhoods.”

The new, simplified census forms will arrive at most homes just after April 1.

After a few weeks, the employees will be asked to visit those who have failed to send in the forms and help them to do so.

The number of jobs, which Maddox estimates as 800 to 1,000, will depend on how many follow-ups are necessary.

This amount will not be known until the first wave of census forms are received in early April.

Hours are flexible, with some evenings required.

For this reason, the jobs will be suitable either for those looking for a second job or people who are recently out of work.

The hourly pay will range from $10 to $14.75. The duration of the jobs also depend on the number of those who don’t respond, but Maddox estimates they could last about three months.

In the meantime, those interested can apply for the jobs through their local Census office.

They can also schedule the required test, which is the most important factor in placing an applicant.

To prepare, a practice test is available online (search for “census practice test”).

It contains about 30 questions examining basic math, reading comprehension and logic skills, with the numbers and percentages different on each test.

While test score is the determining factor for a census job, Maddox said that applicants can take the test as many times as they want in order to get a satisfactory score.

Census forms--which only have five questions--are scheduled to be mailed out on April 1.

Those who send in the forms immediately do not run the risk of a follow-up visit from a census employee at their home.

“Right now we are involved in a PR effort,” Maddox said. “We want to convince people that the census is easy, safe and convenient so they will participate.”

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