Census difficulties photo

Danielle Knable, a recruiting assistant for the Census Bureau, placed information regarding census employment on several vehicles around Huntingdon recently. She’s found it difficult to recruit people to help with the census, as only 271 people have applied for the 417 positions that must be filled by the end of the month.

With the census quickly approaching, those tasked with recruiting temporary employees are doing their best to find as many people as possible. Some are facing difficulties, however.

Danielle Knable, a recruiting assistant for the Census Bureau, has found it difficult to recruit people to help with the census in Huntingdon County.

“We’re coming to an end on accepting applicants for the census, and Huntingdon County is very far behind,” Knable said. “I have been working in the county since Jan. 1 trying different areas and different organizations to reach out to people. We’ve got a few applicants, but not what we need.”

Knable specified that the county is looking to get 417 applicants before the end of February. As of Feb. 14, only 271 have applied.

“The current number of applicants we have has been gathered since November,” Knable said. “We need that many more applicants in only a few weeks’ time.”

Knable believes the best way to garner interest is to dispel misconceptions held by community members.

A major misconception is that all census jobs will have residents going door-to-door. That is not the case.

“Not all of the census jobs will have residents going door-to-door,” Knable said. “There are recruitment positions, clerical positions and office supervisor positions in addition to the positions involving canvassing, each available at different phases of the census process. Right now, I am involved with recruitment. Once the census mailers are sent out, as another example, there will be jobs for people where they will go to locations, sit and help people fill out the census questionnaires.”

Working schedules for census jobs are also flexible, allowing those with other obligations to set their own work hours and stay within their area.

“With most census jobs, you will be setting your own schedule,” Knable said. “Whether you’re a full-time student, work a full-time job or have other obligations, you will be able to work a schedule that best suits you…the Census Bureau also tries to keep employees within their community.”

The application for census jobs is not as detailed as a normal job application. It requires much less information.

“The application is not your typical job application,” Knable said. “You don’t need a work history, references or resume. It is really just a questionnaire. The only requirement is that you are 18 and a U.S. citizen.”

Knable noted the financial benefits. In addition to paid training, wages for the job are higher than many may expect.

“The pay rate for our county starts at $15.50 an hour and goes up to $17.50; the clerical positions are being offered at $17.50 an hour currently,” Knable said. “Mileage is also covered at 58 cents a mile.”

Participation with the census also does not interfere with any government assistance someone may be receiving.

“A lot of people won’t take these positions because they think they won’t get SNAP or TANF government benefits,” Knable said. “There are waivers in place in Pennsylvania so census job income will not interfere with a person’s eligibility for the assistance they receive.”

Information regarding census jobs is available inside many local facilities and businesses, including the Huntingdon County Library in Huntingdon and CareerLink in Huntingdon, and at 2020census.gov.

Those interested in applying can do so online at 2020census.gov/jobs.

Resources to apply for census jobs, including in-person application assistance, are available at CareerLink Wednesdays.

“I am at CareerLink from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays,” Knable said. “If someone would need help applying or need access to a computer, someone will be available at CareerLink to provide assistance.”

Joshua can be reached at dnews@huntingdondailynews.com.

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