The U.S. Census Bureau is gearing up for 2020 and it's hiring local.
"Local voices are the trusted voices," said Mary Craigle, a bureau chief and the Census & Economic Information Center manager for the Montana Department of Commerce.
In preparation for the count, which will begin in the spring of 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau is reaching out to individual communities and asking for their help in hiring the hundreds of local people it will need to staff and run its state and field offices.
Tatiana Phipps lives in Billings and is the U.S. Census Bureau's recruitment manager for the area. She spoke at Monday night's Billings City Council work session and asked the city's help in getting the word out.
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"There's no way we can hire that many people without your help," Phipps told them.
The pay ranges from an hourly rate of $12.50 to $24.50. Most workers will make around $14.50. To find out what jobs are available, what they entail and how to apply, the Census has set up the website 2020census.gov/jobs.
The jobs are temporary and include positions like census takers, recruiting assistants, office staff and supervisory staff. Applicants are required to be at least 18 and a U.S. citizen with a valid Social Security number.
Jeri Bucy, the U.S. Census Bureau Denver Region manager, told the council that a missed count means the state misses out on potential federal funding. Each Montana resident who is counted is equivalent to $19,800 for the state.
For that reason, the bureau makes a big push to recruit local workers, she said.