The U.S. Census Bureau is starting the process to hire people to count Montana’s population in the upcoming 2020 Census.
Mary Craigle is Montana’s Census program manager. She says the only way the Census works well is if Montana people are hired to count Montana people.
"So that when a census worker comes to the door," says Craigle, "it’s actually a member of your community."
Making sure Montana’s Census count is accurate is key for the state to receive its share of federal funding for programs like Medicaid, highway construction, and education.
According to Craigle, every person who is missed in the Census count is a loss of $20,000 to the state in federal funds.
"If we don’t count actually count everyone in a community, our schools might be too small, [and] our roads might be too narrow," says Craigle.
In 2010, more than 670 Census workers were hired in communities across Montana. A similar number of workers will be hired for the 2020 Census.
Craigle says the jobs are flexible and a good fit for college students, part-time workers, or retirees. But, she notes, it’s important to start applying now because the federal hiring process can take up to three months.
Interested parties may apply online at U.S. Census Bureau or through the Montanaworks.gov website.
Learn more about how Montana is preparing for the Census at census.mt.gov.