ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - This year, federal, state and local folks are being charged with a monumental task - to count every person in the United States.
The 2020 Census headcount won't happen for another few months - but the work and the hiring process starts now.
"So I thought I'd just focus on three quick pieces that might be helpful as we head into full operations," said Daryn Warner, Partnership Specialist, Philadelphia Regional Census Center.
This week, Warner went before Roanoke's City Council to help them prepare for the 2020 Census. But across the street, the preparations have already begun. It kicked off in 2019, while Census employees worked to update their master address list.
"And so we are tracking, did 123 Main Street respond? 124 Main St, etcetera. Not, did Daryn Warner or someone else respond," he said.
Warner said Census data helps allocate seats in the House of Representatives and is used to redistrict. Plus, it affects the distribution of billions in grant money and your tax dollars.
"That data is really what shapes schools, healthcare, roads, transportation," he said.
Headquarters in Roanoke is responsible for counting homes, prisons, assisted living facilities and other domiciles for more than 104 localities.
Begging the question, how do they not get overwhelmed?
"Haha that's a great question," Warner said. "One is a huge team and we need many team members."
Warner said they're hiring several thousand people in Southern Virginia right now.
Roanokers who qualify can set their own schedule and could earn up to $18 an hour.
Whether you're doing the counting or just being counted, Warner believes your participation matters.
"So take the opportunity and don't be missed."
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