Individuals still needed to fill variety of jobs for decennial event


Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a national census.

The last census count took place in 2000, which means 2010 has been designated for another count.

Plans have been in the works for some time in preparation for the count, but according to Rich Gerdes, an assistant regional census manager, there is still some work to do.

Among the things left to do is the hiring of a number of individuals to help collect the data for the census, and Gerdes said there are people needed right here n Redwood County.

“We are in the middle of the process to find people for these jobs,”?said Gerdes.

The most common job individuals can do as part of the count is what Gerdes called the field enumerator.

“That person goes door to door asking questions on a questionnaire we provide,”?Gerdes explained, adding those people walk the streets of a community getting the public to answer the survey questions.

The hiring of those individuals and others to fill various office jobs is going to start in February, with the day-to-day work of the field enumerator starting in May and continuing through July.

In order to find the right people for the open positions, a standardized test has been developed.

Those seeking a job need to take the test to see of they qualify. Gerdes said the test is fairly simple with questions assessing one’s math, reading and map skills.

The tests are administered locally, with the tests being conducted on a weekly basis at the Redwood Falls Public Library. 

Information is posted in the library regarding test dates and times. 

Information regarding testing dates can also be found by calling 866-861-2010, said Gerdes, adding one can then give their zip code to determine where and when the next tests are going to occur.

More information can also be found on the Census 2010 Web site, which is

“The test can be taken any number of times until you feel you got a good score,”?Gerdes said.

According to Gerdes, the census count that takes place every 10 years is a Constitutional requirement established by Congress.

There are states that could lose or gain seats in the House of Representatives based on the census count.

Minnesota is on the edge of losing one of its seven seats, should the population decrease below a certain threshold.

That, said Gerdes, is why it is so important for people to take part in the census this year.

He added federal funding doled out to states is also based on census data for the 10-year period.

The first mailing of census info is going out in March, said Gerdes, adding a second mailing is going to be going to households throughout the country in April.

The door-to-door surveying begins in May and is going to continue through the summer.