2020 Census Bureau looking for student workers

The 2020 Census Bureau is on campus seeking workers for next year’s population count.  

Compensation is $15 an hour for Sedgwick County residents and $13.50 for students from outside the county. Workers are expected to put in 20 hours a week, but scheduling can be flexible based students’ availability.

“This is a great job for students — especially college students,” said Shane Ousey, area manager of the U.S. Census Bureau. “It’s not a 9-to-5, 40-hour-a-week job. If you only have 20 hours a week that you can work, then we’ll work those 20 hours a week.”

Ousey said that once census workers begin, hours will mainly be in the afternoon and evening. He said this should work well for college students who are off of class during that time.

 In order to work for the census, students must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, and have a reliable source of transportation. They also have to pass a background check.

 When applying, students must also take an online assessment about their skillset and availability. If accepted, workers will begin paid training in January and February. 

 Ousey said the bureau is specifically looking for people who are familiar with their community.

 “Our goal is to hire folks who look and live in their communities,” Ousey said. “Because people are more likely to respond to those who look, sound and talk like them.

 “Those people know their local communities . . . so you’re not having to find someone from outside their area and train them on all that.”

 The census is a vital tool for the functioning of the country, Ousey said. Among other things, population dictates congressional representation.

 “The foundations of our democracy, the U.S. House, is determined by where people live, and the census is the tool that the constitution laid out to determine that,” Ousey said.

 If you’re too busy to work for the census, Ousey said the best thing to do to help is to fill out your own census. He said he believes filling out the census is not an option, but a “requirement” for every U.S. Citizen.

 “If students or people don’t want to work for the census, I encourage them to at least, when Census Day comes around in 2020, that they get and they answer their census and they answer the door when the census taker comes,” Ousey said. “The data we collect is so critical to making this country work the way it should work.

 “[It is] our patriotic duty. It’s the Constitution that says to do this — not any one political party or any one person . . . It’s a requirement to live in this great country.”

 Students who are interested in working for the census can find more information at 2020census.gov/jobs. Census workers will also set up a table at the Rhatigan Student Center periodically to register workers.