The 2020 Census can be described as a great opportunity in many different areas for Philadelphia residents.
Not only can the city benefit from an accurate count to appropriate necessary federal funds, but residents have the opportunity to make a good amount of money by helping out with the process.
The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting to fill thousands of temporary positions across the country to assist with the census count, which is compiled every 10 years by constitutional law.
Officials estimate about 3,000 jobs will be available in Philadelphia. Wages range from $23-$28 per hour, including paid training. The jobs are paid for by the federal government.
Council member Kenyatta Johnson, representing Philadelphia’s 2nd District, was on hand at the South Philadelphia Library on Broad Street on Thursday to host a Census Job Fair, where residents could apply for jobs or ask questions about census employment.
More than a few dozen residents applied for jobs in the first hour of the event.
“When you look at the city of Philadelphia, it’s a big city when it comes to poverty,” Johnson said. “So any time we have an opportunity to help individuals become gainfully employed, whether it’s temporary or permanent, we need to be aggressive in taking advantage of that opportunity. This is another example of putting people to work, but most importantly, it’s putting people to work for a great cause.”
Full-time and part-time positions are available such as recruiting assistants, census field supervisors, office operations supervisors, enumerators and clerks.
“All you have to do is stop by and we will help you with that process,” said Darlene Monts, a Census Recruiting Assistant, who was helping people at the library.
Residents can apply online at 2020census.gov/jobs. For more information about available jobs, job descriptions or assistance with applying online, call 1-888-480-1639.
The next Census Job Fair in South Philadelphia will be on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at the Fumo Family Library at 2437 S. Broad St. from 6-7:45 p.m. A full list of census job fairs across Philadelphia can be found at https://www.phila.gov/programs/philly-counts-2020/.
Interested applicants need to be a U.S. citizen, 18 years old by April 1, 2020, with a valid Social Security number and an email address. Most applicants will work in their own communities, and it could lead to further employment opportunities.
“It’s a government position,” Monts said. “It does allow you, once you are employed by the government, to look for more permanent positions, too.”
In a bigger picture, the census count is crucial to the city. Census data is used to determine representation in Congress, and to research, analyze and predict trends. Philadelphia receives more than $3 billion in federal funding each year for health, housing, schools and infrastructure.
“This event is important for people to not only apply for positions for the census count, but also give us an opportunity to reiterate how important the census count is for the Philadelphia region,” Johnson said. “When you talk about federal resources that will be distributed to the city of Philadelphia, it’s all based upon an accurate census count. I’m out here today to be supportive.”