Census Bureau seeking East End applicants for temp jobs

Census workers in Garden City go over some Census workers in Garden City go over some new ways, and tools in which census workers will conduct address canvassing in preparation for 2010 Census next year. Photo Credit: Newsday/Photo by Frank Koester

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The U.S. Census Bureau has begun recruiting to fill more than a million temporary jobs next year to count the nation's population, and bureau officials said they could use more applicants from Long Island's East End.

Officials say the recruitment has been wide-ranging, targeting first residents from neighborhoods that have been hard to count in the past. The bureau is now branching out islandwide, going to PTAs in schools, houses of worship and libraries, for example.

While overall responses to the bureau's job recruitment have gone very well on the Island, "We need more applicants in the East End of Long Island," said Bill Harfmann, the bureau's area manager for Long Island, urging those interested to call the national recruitment hotline - 866-861-2010. There may be as many as 2,000 positions available for the East End operation.

Applicants must pass an FBI check.

Hiring won't take place until next year, said Patricia Valle, assistant regional census manager for Long Island and recruitment, but the bureau is conducting testing "just everywhere."

The bureau's outreach effort includes career centers that service the unemployed and are operated by governmental agencies, where Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) urged the bureau last week to focus its recruitment.

Ana-Maria Hurtado, Hempstead Town's commissioner of occupational resources, which hosts a career center in Hempstead Village, said its clients will be able to take the bureau's pre-application test in a few weeks. "We get a big response every time" from clients, Hurtado said.

Mark Grossman, the state Department of Labor's Long Island regional director, said the department's Patchogue office also will be a testing site for clients this month and next.

The towns of Oyster Bay and North Hempstead and the city of Glen Cove have a history of working with the census bureau on its recruitment drive. So does Suffolk County's labor department.

But Valle said the unemployed cannot be given preference over others. The bureau is required by law to follow a system that includes selecting from among top test scorers.

Meanwhile, the bureau is gearing up for a first-ever counting program for the Island's East End, starting in February.

Census forms will not be mailed to residents in Riverhead Town and points east, including the North and South forks and Fishers Island. Census enumerators instead will go door-to-door interviewing residents for the 2010 census.

"We have always found that even after we get a specific house number in address canvassing, that doesn't correlate to where they receive their mail," Valle said, noting many people in the East End use post office boxes.

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