Reporter

The 2020 Census may be a year away, but the largest non-military operation in the country is already gearing up and asking for support from local officials.

On Monday, Channa Lloyd, partnership specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau Atlanta Region, went before Osceola County leaders to discuss the upcoming count.

Since 1790, the U.S. Constitution has mandated that a population at least every 10 years.

April 1, 2020 is the next Census Day.

Lloyd explained that accurate U.S. Census counts are critical for local and state funding from the federal government. Data can impact things like the Head Start program, Pell grants and funding for roads.  

It can also impact the state’s representation at a national level by increasing the number of House seats Florida holds in Washington D.C.

Florida could pick up one, possibly two additional House seats after this count.

Census numbers also affect redistricting on the local level.

But some areas of the United States are harder to count than others, Lloyd explained. Renters and non-English speakers tend to report less, while parents may not report children under the age of 2 years old, Lloyd noted.

That’s why Complete Count Committees are formed on the state, county and city level, comprised of representatives and leaders who know how to get the word out and into the community.

“These trusted voices come together to decide the best way to reach the residents of their community,” Lloyd said. “We tend to find that people respond better to those who are from the area.”

Lloyd asked the County Commission to consider people for Osceola’s committee.

It took approximately 650 U.S. marshals to conduct the census when it first began in 1790.

Jump ahead to Census 2010, where 635,000 people were employed.

This makes the U.S. Census the largest peacetime operation in the country, Lloyd said.

And that’s a lot of jobs to fill.

The U.S. Census began hiring for thousands of temporary jobs at the beginning of 2018 in various positions including census takers, recruiting assistants, office staff and supervisory staff.

Positions will be located across 248 area Census offices nationwide and offer flexible work hours.

Lloyd said the Census would partner with career sources and local government to get the word out about job opportunities.

In the meantime, those who are interested in working for the 2020 Census can create a profile on their website, www.2020census.gov/jobs.

Applicants are placed in an applicant pool for 2020 Census field positions and are considered as positions become available.