Janesville47.2°

Census jobs still available

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
February 20, 2010

If you're still thinking of going after one of those part-time jobs with the U.S. Census Bureau this spring, there's still time to apply.


If you live in Walworth or Jefferson counties, call soon to set up a time to take the test and fill out the application, a census official advised. That's because census officials believe they have nearly enough applicants to cover their needs, and they'll soon stop recruiting in Walworth or Jefferson counties.


If you live in Rock, Green or Dane counties, officials are interested in recruiting quite a few more workers, said Jennifer Sciacca, regional recruiter for the U.S. Census Bureau in Chicago.


The recruiting goal for the Madison-based census region was 4,200, and as of Thursday, 1,500 more still were needed Sciacca said.


Sciacca wasn't sure why more people haven't applied for the jobs in an area of high unemployment. She speculated that some are receiving unemployment benefits and want to stay home with their families.


Applications from urban areas generally have been much stronger than in rural areas, Sciacca said, but she wasn't sure why. She said she's trying to arrange more testing sites in rural areas where the need still is great.


Census jobs pay $13 an hour in the Madison area but $14 an hour in the Kenosha-based area that includes Walworth County. Most jobs also require U.S. citizenship, a driver's license, use of a vehicle and the ability to go door-to-door to interview people.


Some of bilingual workers are needed.


The numbers of census workers that will be needed is really unknown. Official set recruiting goals based on the need for the 2000 census, Sciacca said.


The recruiting goal is set higher than what is needed to cover the probability that some people will change their minds by the time they're called in to work this spring, Sciacca said.


Much depends on how many households complete their census forms. When forms aren't returned, that's when census workers are sent out to get the information.


Census forms will be mailed this month and into March, Sciacca said. All forms are to be mailed back by April 1. After April 1, officials will have a better idea of the number of workers they'll need.


If the response rate is lower than expected, the census might have to recruit more workers, Sciacca said. If the response rate is high, fewer workers will be needed.


Sciacca said people who already have taken the test should not worry if they haven't been called. They won't be called until April at the earliest.


People who scored highest on the tests will be called first, and then the next lowest scores, until all the positions are filled, Sciacca said.


"If people feel their test score is too low, they're welcome to take the test as many times as they like." Sciacca said.


The economy might have an impact on how long the jobs will last, Sciacca said. The thought is that more workers will be available to work longer hours this year than in 2000, so the work might be completed in fewer days.


The original thought was that the positions could last 10 weeks, but the job might get done in two to six weeks Sciacca said.


Again, it all depends on the public's response to the census.


CENSUS JOBS

To schedule yourself to take the test for a U.S. Census Bureau job in the Madison area, which includes Rock and Green counties, call 1-608-327-5620. In the Kenosha area, which includes Walworth County, call 1-262-842-1620.


For more information, including a practice test, go online to 2010.census.gov/2010censusjobs.


Some upcoming testing dates in this area include the following. Walk-ins are welcome, but identification is needed. Bring a passport or two other forms of identification, such as a birth certificate, driver's license or Social Security card.


Saturday, Feb. 20

-- Elkhorn Citizens Bank, 10 N. Lincoln St., Elkhorn, 9 a.m.


-- Basics Food Store, 1711 Lodge Drive, Janesville, 11 a.m.


-- Edgerton Public Library, 101 Albion St., 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.


Monday, Feb. 22

-- Stateline Literacy Council, 822 Broad St., Beloit, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.


Tuesday, Feb. 23

-- Elkhorn Citizens Bank, 10 N. Lincoln St., Elkhorn, 1 p.m.


-- Room 261 at University Center, UW-Whitewater, 800 W. Main St., 2 p.m.


-- Edgerton Public Library, 101 Albion St., 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.


-- Basics Food Store, 1711 Lodge Drive, Janesville, 5 p.m.


-- Darien Senior Center, 47 Park St., 7 p.m. This test is for Spanish-speakers, who must also pass an English-proficiency test.


Wednesday, Feb. 24

-- Palmyra Fire Department, 126 N. 1st St., 10 a.m.


Thursday, Feb. 25

-- Eager Free Public Library, 39 W. Main St., Evansville, Evansville, 10 a.m.


-- Room 261 at University Center, UW-Whitewater, 800 W. Main St., 2 p.m.


-- Lake Geneva Public Library, 918 W. Main St., 5:30 p.m.


-- Darien Senior Center, 47 Park St., 7 p.m. This test is for Spanish-speakers.


Friday, Feb. 26

-- Lake Geneva Public Library, 918 W. Main St., 9:30 a.m.


-- Rock County Jobs Center, 1900 Center Ave., Janesville, 10 a.m.


-- Edgerton Public Library, 101 Albion St., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.


-- Brodhead Memorial Public Library, 1207 25th St., 6 p.m.


Saturday, Feb. 27

-- Elkhorn Citizens Bank, 10 N. Lincoln St., Elkhorn, 9 a.m.


-- Edgerton Public Library, 101 Albion St., 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.



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