PROVIDENCE — With the 2020 Census fast approaching, the U.S. Census Bureau is looking to hire a few thousand Rhode Islanders to help, and U.S. Senator Jack Reed is encouraging residents to apply. 

“Working part-time for the 2020 Census is a great way to earn some extra income while serving your community and the nation,” the senator said. “I encourage interested Rhode Islanders, especially those who are bilingual, to apply for these positions.  The Census plays an important role in our state, our government, and in ensuring that everyone is counted.”

The bureau is recruiting workers for a variety of part-time roles throughout the state. These short-term jobs offer hourly wages starting at $25 per hour, flexible work hours, and paid training.  Census takers work directly in their own communities.

The census is a constitutionally mandated undertaking that determines representation in government, as well as how federal funds are spent on roads, schools, housing, public safety and other purposes. 

Reed's office noted that the 2020 census officially kicks off on Jan. 21, in Toksook Bay, Alaska, more than two months before Census Day (April 1), the date by which the Census Bureau plans to reach out to every U.S. household. The small Alaska community gets first in the nation status because local census takers must get a head start while the frozen ground allows easier access to areas with unique accessibility challenges.

To qualify, census applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number and a valid email address; complete an application; and answer assessment questions. In order to be hired, applicants must also pass a Census-performed criminal background check and a review of criminal records, including fingerprinting.

The jobs include census takers, census field supervisors, clerks, and office operations supervisors. The largest number of openings are for census takers, who are responsible for going door-to-door to gather information from people who failed to answer U.S. Census surveys online or mailed to their homes.

Rhode Islanders interested in applying for a position with the Census Bureau, may apply at: or call or call 855-JOB-2020 and select option 3 for more information.

Veterans who were honorably discharged may be eligible for a hiring preference. Additionally, bilingual applicants are needed and are encouraged to apply.

In December, Reed and his colleagues unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution highlighting the importance of the 2020 Census. The resolution encourages individuals, families, and households across the United States to take part in the Census so that all communities can be counted. The resolution also recognizes the importance and significance of the 2020 Census, the role libraries play in facilitating the census, and encourages all people to participate. It concludes that it is the civic duty of every person to ensure that the 2020 Census is as accurate as possible.

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