By Glenn Collins
Friday, February 5, 2010 | 3:02 PM
|Perry Macon (L) and Rick Evans (R), both with the 2010 Census, spoke to the Haleyville Area Chamber of Commerce meeting, Friday, February 5, 2010|
Perry Macon, a partner with the U.S. Census Bureau, spoke to the Haleyville Area Chamber of Commerce Friday, February 5, 2010. The 2010 Census, he said, "is simple, private, and important."
This year's census is very simple. There are only 10 questions for the head of household, and only 7 of those apply to other members of the household. Years past have seen census forms that required over an hour to complete. This year's requires about 10 minutes.
This year's census is private. Macon assured everyone that anyone working on the census takes an oath to keep data private for 72 years. He added that this census is not about the many things it may have been about in the past. With emphasis, he said, "We just want a count."
This year's census is important. Macon said, "The census is how America knows what America needs." The U.S. Government gives out in excess of $400,000,000 each year. The primary factor in determining where that money goes is population. Population count comes from the census.
"The census affects every aspect of your life," Macon said. He added that census data is used in grant applications; distribution of government money; drawing of governmental boundaries such as congressional, representative, and other political districts; and business determination for expansion, to list just a few. Census data also helps determine the size of medical facilities and government moneys for schools.
Macon asked the audience what would happen to schools without U.S. government money. Haleyville Schools Superintendent Clint Baggett responded, the schools "wouldn't be open!"
Rick Evans is the Winston County Coordinator for the 2010 Census. He said that the census will employ several hundred people. Most of the jobs will be as enumerators, who will receive $11.25 per hour and 50-cents per mile. A test is required and only takes 30 minutes. Evans is testing in Haleyville twice a week. He can be contacted at (205) 269-9448.
Macon and Evans stressed what the U.S. Census Bureau has been saying to every resident: "Be counted in 2010."