The meeting room at Elmont Memorial Library was filled on Jan. 30 with residents who wanted to learn more about the job opportunities the United States Census Bureau offers.
The Constitution requires the federal government to count everyone living in the country — regardless of citizenship status — every 10 years. The results help determine how congressional districts are drawn, and how the federal government will allocate $675 billion.
But Elmont has historically been undercounting, resulting in the hamlet receiving fewer funds for the school districts, infrastructure and law enforcement. Elected officials fear this trend may continue this year, as undocumented immigrants worry about deportation. “It’s very scary for them to be interfacing with the government,” Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages said at the Census Job Fair last week, “so they need the confidence of their neighbors.”
Rossana Weitekamp, a partnership specialist for the bureau, explained that everyone in the country will get mail in mid-March encouraging them to fill out the Census either in the mail, or online. The Census would then arrive in the mail in April, and starting in May, paid enumerators would start interviewing those who have not yet replied. The enumerators would be local residents who are more familiar with the neighborhoods, and would have an easier time getting their neighbors to respond.
“The Census Bureau wants to you in your own neighborhood,” Weitekamp said, “because that’s where you’re known.”
There are still roughly 1,500 enumerator jobs available in Nassau County. They offer $23.50 per hour and paid training. The hours can be adjusted according to the enumerator’s schedule, and those who work after 6 p.m. or for more than eight hours on Sunday will get a bonus.
Those who speak more than one language, such as Creole or Spanish, are especially useful to the Census Bureau, as it is now offered in 13 languages, and clerical jobs are also available.
Another Census Job Fair will be held on Feb. 8 at Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School. To apply for a job, visit www.2020Census.gov/jobs.