WOODBURY COUNTY, Iowa (KCAU) – In less than three months, the next US Census will be underway. Data from the survey is used to set political boundaries and guide some federal financial assistance.
Ten years ago when the last census was taken, a shift in population caused Iowa to lose one of its five congressional districts. To make sure no one is left out of the next census, Woodbury County officials are working to make sure every resident is counted.
The US Census is looking to hire 368 more people in Woodbury County. They said that’s what it’ll take to get an accurate count of the community come April.
“We need people to feel comfortable when they come knocking on their door, so we want to hire people that look like the community, that represents the community, and they feel comfortable when they have to go after the census restorations,” said Norma De La O, with Iowa Works.
David Gleiser is the director of Woodbury County Community Economic Development. He said the census is crucial for funding.
“Roughly $600 million worth of federal funding that gets allocated to the states and local governments is dependent on census data. So it’s very, very important we get an accurate account so we get our fair share of that,” said Gleiser.
“You get $1.8 million per 100 people counted. That’s a lot of money coming into our state for all kinds of programs, and it can help anybody out there,” said De La O.
Iowa Works said it’s in the process of finding bilingual workers to help.
“We are really scrambling to find bilingual people. Sioux City is very diverse so people usually think of Spanish but we have a large African community with different languages,” De La O.
Census workers make $21.50 an hour and must be at least 18 years old.
“We are pretty much willing to hire anybody that’s wanting to be trained and do the work,” said Gleiser.
The US Census said the job is very flexible and workers will work between 5 and 40 hours per week.