LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Census 2010 will define who we are as a nation, state, parish, and community.
"Your participation in the census does matter," said Danielle Edwards, Partnership Specialist, U.S. Census Bureau.
Edwards took her plea to the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury.
"Every year, $300 billion dollars in federal funds is awarded to community programs from census data," she said.
The census data can mean planning for new hospitals, schools, roads, thousands of jobs, and additional grants and funding for community programs. Data collected by the Census Bureau suggests Calcasieu Parish has grown over the years, but the bureau does not believe everyone is participating.
In fact, in 2000, 183,577 people were counted, but the bureau believes that's only 61% of the actual population.
"Which means that 39% of the population did not participate and did not fill out a questionaire. Which means that during the course of the last nine years, our community missed out on valuable funds," said Edwards.
"The census is important, don't be afraid to do the census, don't be afraid to give that information. It's all confidential," said Calcasieu Parish Police Jury President Hal McMillan.
McMillan's hoping everyone will participate to improve the voice of Calcasieu Parish.
"It's the way we re-district our police jury districts, the way we get our Representatives, our Congressmen, and it's very important that we fill out the census," said McMillan.
You too, can cash in on the census, they're looking for workers to make sure everyone is counted. To apply to work for the census, visit 2010censusjobs.gov or call 1-866-861-2010.