2020 Census plans 48 recruiting events in RGV

McALLEN — The city of McAllen Census Complete Count Committee, or McAllen CCCC, and Workforce Solutions are looking to hire workers for the upcoming 2020 Census.

They plan on hosting 48 recruiting events throughout the Rio Grande Valley in the coming weeks, including a job fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the McAllen Public Library.

“We’re going to be conducting the 2020 Census in the Valley, and we need to make sure that we count everyone that lives here,” said Sofia Castillo, the area manager for the U.S Census Bureau’s 2020 efforts. “We have 8,000 jobs that we need to fill here in the Valley, so naturally we need to recruit more people than just the 8,000, because a lot of people in the process of waiting to get hired drop out. We need to have a good pool of applicants.”

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, and need to be knowledgeable in how to use equipment such as an iPhone and iPad. Most of the jobs for hire will be for census takers. These are the individuals who go door to door to make sure that everyone is counted in the census.

“(The job fair) is basically to help people find out more about what the census is all about,” Castillo said. “We’re surprised how many people don’t realize that we do a census every 10 years and that it actually affects our community. We want to make sure that we get an accurate census so that we can get the proper amount portioned to the Valley based on population count.”

The job fair will have recruiters on hand to help with the application process. The jobs currently available pay anywhere from $13.50 to $14 an hour, depending on the county.

“We’re going to be doing some of the selections and hiring in December. Then we’ll be doing some training. And then we will eventually go ahead and put some of them out in the field. We have an operation that is happening in January and another in February. Then, of course, the main one which we call peak operations will happen after Census Day in April,” Castillo said.

Castillo explained that there’s approximately $675 billion that the U.S. government distributes throughout different states and communities based on population. She emphasized the need for an accurate census count since it will determine the funding needed for schools, healthcare, parks and other necessities for the community.

“I think that it’s important to encourage everyone and let them know that we’re here to count everyone that lives in the Valley regardless of what their situation is,” Castillo said. “Everyone counts. Everyone needs to benefit from having this money coming to the community so we can improve everything that is needed in the Valley.”

Anyone interested in applying for the upcoming census is encouraged to visit 2020census.gov/jobs. For more information, call (800) JOB-2020.