Census job testing session this weekend

The following is a news release from the US Census Bureau:

LAKE CHARLES, La. — Need a job? The 2010 Census hiring campaign hits high gear in Lake Charles on Saturday, March 6, with a mass job testing session at the Parra Ballroom, 4205 Ryan St., on the McNeese State University campus from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Those who score high enough, qualify for jobs with good weekly pay, mileage reimbursement and experience in America's population count.

Interested applicants should understand that bringing proper identification to the test site is important. Either bring an unexpired U.S. passport or two other forms of identification, including one with a photograph along with a birth certificate or a social security card. (Qualifying photo IDs include a current driver's license, a state-issued ID or a student identification card) Tests will not be accepted without proper identification.

The U.S. Census Bureau is pushing to recruit hundreds of people for its Lake Charles office, which will conduct the enumeration throughout southwestern Louisiana. The Census Bureau will seek to hire workers to conduct the enumeration in their hometowns and their own neighborhoods. The jobs are temporary, but should run from four to 12 weeks, or longer.

Census jobs are good for college students, retirees and stay-at-home parents. The work schedules are flexible and pay ranges from $11.50 to $21 an hour for job titles ranging from clerk to supervisor. The terms will last from May through July, or longer.  The lack of adequate workers could mean an undercount that could cost the region valuable federal funding for needed social services, roads, schools and hospitals.

To prepare for the test, applicants can take the practice test on the Census Web site: http://2010.census.gov/2010censusjobs/documents/Practice_Test.pdf.

"Everyone deserves to have a voice and be counted, and by working for the 2010 Census, you will be directly involved with ensuring that happens," said U.S. Census Bureau Dallas Regional Director Gabriel Sanchez.

If you can't come to the testing site, applicants are urged to call a toll free number, 1-866-861-2010, to schedule a time to take a qualifying aptitude test. For more information on hiring, visit the Census' job site at http://2010.census.gov/2010censusjobs/. For information on the 2010 Census in general, visit http://www.census.gov/2010census/.

Census workers began delivering questionnaires to rural areas the first week in March. Mailed forms should arrive in the third week of March. Residents are asked to fill out their forms and return them as soon as possible. Follow-up visits will begin in May.

The decennial Census determines congressional representation and the annual distribution of more than $400 billion in federal funds for local and regional services.  

Most positions require U.S. citizenship, a driver's license and the use of a vehicle, and each applicant will undergo a background check.

Hiring has already started and will extend through spring 2010 for temporary assignments, most lasting eight weeks to a few months. The Dallas Regional Census Center is expected to hire about 111,000 workers to complete its task in its region, which includes Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Texans electing to work for the 2010 Census won't lose their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (previously known as the Food Stamp program), thanks to a recent federal interpretation of eligibility rules. The rules interpretation from the Food and Nutrition Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is good news for those seeking employment in tough economic times, and when the Census Bureau is still seeking qualified applicants to help complete the 2010 Census.

Workers could already hold onto their Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) aid if they took temporary jobs with the Census. The interpretation allows the nearly 1.4 million adults receiving SNAP aid in Texas to continue receiving their nutrition benefits if they elect to work for the 2010 Census.