The 2020 U.S. Census is fast approaching, and the recruiting effort for census workers is in full swing.

Jessi Curtis, Anchorage recruiting manager for the U.S. Census, joined Daybreak to discuss the many job opportunities available and why the work is so critical.

“It’s so important," Curtis said. "For the state of Alaska, what it means is $3.2 billion that comes in to our state. That’s how much money our state received from the 2010 census."

Census results dictates how much federal funding the state receives.

"We count everybody in the state. We figure out where people are and how many people there are, and then based on that data the federal government disseminates money out to every single state," she explained. "So it’s really important that we are able to count every single person in our state because that’s money that would otherwise be left on the table.”

Alaska holds a distinct honor in the census process. For a fourth straight census, an Alaska village has been chosen for the first enumeration in the nation. Toksook Bay was chosen this year and will officially kick off the 2020 Census on Tuesday, Jan. 21.

 
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“Every census we choose an Alaskan village to be the first village to be counted and an elder in that village to be the first person in the United States to be counted because of the complications that come with counting remote Alaska," Curtis said. "So we want to make sure that everyone is in one place, so before people start subsisting, before hunting, before fishing starts. And also we need to make sure that we can access the villages. So before spring breakup while everything is still frozen.”

Curtis says that full- and part-time seasonal work is available and the bureau is actively looking to staff roughly 1,000 Alaskans.

“We’re looking for people that are looking to make some extra money," she said. "Great candidates would be retirees, students who are college students or students that are at least 18 years old. The requirements are you must be 18 years or older, you must be a US citizen, you must have an email address and you must be able to pass a background check.”

 
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Census takers make between $28 and $31 per hour.

“Not only are you having the opportunity to make some extra money, but you’re also having the opportunity to ensure we get it right and get our state counted completely.”

For more information, visit 2020census.gov/jobs or check out a local informational event.

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