Thursday, April 27, 2000

More still needed

Door-knockers begin canvass this weekend

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Even as Northern Kentucky census workers prepare to count heads this weekend, the local census office is recruiting more workers.

        In the 16 counties served by the Covington census office, 1,000 workers will start their door-to-door canvass on Saturday, said Marc Bergman, the census office manager in Covington. For the next eight weeks — or until the count is finished — the part-time workers will visit homes of residents who failed to mail back census forms.

        A few dozen census workers could be sent out as early as today to count residents near college campuses, before they leave for the summer, Mr. Bergman said.

        Pay for Northern Kentucky workers who take part in the national head count is $11.50 an hour, with mileage reimbursement of 32.5 cents a mile.

        “We'll be hiring and training people to the very end,” Mr. Bergman said.

        Some of the temporary workers will not complete the 20 hours of paid training, while others may decide that census work is not something they want to do, or they'll take another job, Mr. Bergman said.

        “It's not the easiest work,” he said. “Some people don't like a door being slammed in their face.”

        Advantages of the census jobs include a quick infusion of cash and the knowledge that workers are helping their communities, Mr. Bergman said.

        Census figures will be used to decide what portion of $185 billion in federal funds will be distributed to cities and states each year, said Bruce Suedkamp, who is overseeing the census count in the 16 counties served by the Covington office.

        In 1990, the city of Covington was under-counted by 8.8 percent and lost an estimated $13 million in federal grant money, according to a U.S. Conference of Mayors study.

        Kentucky also lost a congressional seat because of low census counts 10 years ago.

        To apply for a census job, call 1/888/325-7733. The toll-free number will reach the census office serving the county where the caller lives.


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