The county commissioners last week recognized St. Mary’s County 2020 Census response rates with a proclamation, where it was noted the county had passed the 2010 Census response rate before this year’s deadline.
While the county continues to encourage online participation, the U.S. Census Bureau is actively recruiting employees for temporary positions.
“St. Mary’s County has reached an important milestone in meeting and exceeding the 2010 final response rate with more than four months before the end of the 2020 census self-response phase,” Commissioner President Randy Guy (R) said at the June 16 meeting. “It’s very important to the county,” for residents to participate.
So far, St. Mary’s has reached a 65% response rate before the Oct. 31 deadline, with 57.5% completed online. The final response rate for the county in the 2010 Census was 63.5%, according to the 2020census.gov website.
An accurate Census count is essential for providing information that will impact St. Mary’s County for the next decade. Data from the Census determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. They are also used to draw congressional and state legislative districts and determines federal funding allocations, according to the release.
“St. Mary’s County has been actively contributing to 2020 Census awareness and participation activities since late last fall. We recognize the importance of counting every person in St. Mary’s County and it is exciting to see our efforts are paying off,” Bill Hunt, director of land use and growth management and chairman of the St. Mary’s County Complete Count Census Committee, said in the release.
ALisa Casas, public information officer for the county and leader of the multimedia outreach advertising campaign for the 2020 Census in St. Mary’s, told The Enterprise the county is still accepting applications for employment until at least the end of August, and the hourly pay rate is currently $26.50. Applicants must be at least 18 and pass a federal background check.
Door-to-door visits will begin Aug. 11 and run until Oct. 31. Employees will be required to follow all local guidelines with personal protective equipment and will not enter homes for no-contact interactions. Applications can be submitted online at 2020census.gov/jobs and the office can also be reached at 1-855-JOB-2020.
On Monday afternoon, Guy shared his experiences working as an enumerator during the 2010 Census. He said each week he was given a list of addresses to visit, belonging to people who had not yet completed their census sheet. Most of the work took place in the evening or on weekends since that was when a resident was most likely to be home, he said.
“I didn’t mind it, it was interesting,” Guy said, but mentioned “the job takes time to do” and requires some commitment. He “encourages anyone to do it,” as it was a “good experience” and it only took a few days to get paid.