LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The U.S. Census Bureau is hosting the grand opening of their Lake Charles office for the 2010 Census on Tuesday.
Office at all levels of government gathered to kick off the opening of the new Census Bureau Office in Lake Charles. The main message-- if you care about your community you'll stand up and be counted. Says Census Advocate Eligha Guillory, "It's ten questions, ten minutes only once every ten years."
LC Mayor Randy Roach says an accurate count is critical. "It affects not just representation in Washington, not just representation in Baton Rouge, but representation right here, right here at home. We also talk about how federal dollars are allocated to the area. That's also very important."
"We need to know exactly how many people we have in our parish so that we might serve our people more effectively," says Randy Vincent with Calcasieu Office of Community Services. "When it comes to education, when it comes to any other human service that our citizens need."
If you don't want to be visited by a census taker, just fill out the form you get in the mail in March. Last census scarcely sixty per cent in this area sent in the forms. If some aren't counted the community will miss out. For instance restaurant chains look at numbers when deciding where to locate. Explains Roach, "Numbers are important and people look at numbers when they try to make decisions about where to grow and where to expand in terms of their business development."
The census will also mean jobs for about 2000 people in Southwest Louisiana. To apply call the census number 1-866-861-2010. Says Census Bureau Media Specialist Renee Clark, "These jobs will last anywhere from two to twelve weeks. The pay rate here is $11.50 an hour. A worker, a census worker can work anywhere from two hours to forty hours a week. It depends on the work load."
The more who are counted the greater the benefits to the area now and in the future which is why all here urge everyone to participate.
For more information on what to expect from a census taker click here. For example a census taker should never answer your home.This office will serve all surrounding parishes and will lead massive testing for recruiting efforts. Hundreds of temporary well-paid jobs will be available. The grand opening will take place at 10:00 a.m.