These are some need-to-know facts as Census count nears

Published 12:20 am Thursday, January 9, 2020

Temporary jobs for the 2020 Census are available with good pay and mileage reimbursement as Port Arthur and cities across the nation prepare for the once-every-decade count.

Dr. Albert Thigpen, chairman of the local Complete Count Committee, said Census workers could make $20 an hour with mileage reimbursement of 58 cents per mile.

“During this period of time the Census Bureau is doing a massive amount of hiring,” Thigpen said, adding the Census Bureau made it extremely simple to apply.

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To apply from a cell phone, text ‘Texasjobs” to 313131, and you will be given a link and can proceed from there. There is also a link on with information on jobs and the Census.

Why it’s important

Data gleaned from Census numbers helps in the redrawing of legislative districts and is a major tool for funding.

“Over $657 billion (in funding) is decided based on Census data and the Census data remains in effect for 10 years,” Thigpen said. “It impacts education, housing, CDBG (Community Development Block Grants) that the city uses in large part for streets, drainage and infrastructure projects.”

According to information from the city, “Port Arthur uses these federal funds to maintain our standing as an entitlement community. The amount allocated to Port Arthur is based on our community having at least 50,000 residents, so your response matters. Health clinics. Fire Departments. School. Even roads and highways. The census can shape many different aspects of our community.”

The private sector benefits from the Census, as well.

“The Census data is also used by the business community in their determination on where to locate a business, in expanding businesses and providing services,” Thigpen said. “So it’s important not only to the public sector but equally important in the private sector.”

Another aspect of the Census is the historical aspect. Thigpen noted Port Arthur Public Library has become a focal point for those researching genealogy. They often use Census data to allow people to connect the dots in tracing their history.

Port Arthur is pushing the importance of the Census and has adopted the motto — “All In! One City! One Count! Jobs That Count.”

Reaching residents

Thigpen said letters are being set to individual churches in the Port Arthur community asking pastors to engage their congregation. In addition, Port Arthur resident Fernando Ramirez is heading up the Hispanic Complete Count Committee locally to reach out to the Hispanic population, and there are plans to reach out to the Vietnamese population, as well.

A kick-off to the Census was held in December after the city’s Lighted Holiday Parade and more events are planned.

The city will provide mobile access for individuals who may be Internet or computer challenged to allow them to fill out the Census. The city’s recreation center, library, the J.B. Matthews Community Center and the city will partner with churches for those who need computer access.

Challenge issued

Thigpen said a challenge was issued during a recent city council meeting that will help spread the word about the Census.

The challenge is from the Abraham Lincoln High School class of 1978 — “’78 the Great,” he said, challenging all other graduating classes in the city to register as an official Census partner and sponsor one event or activity in support of the city’s goal of a complete count.

“We had some reactions when the challenge was issued,” Thigpen said with a laugh.

Examples of events include picnics, block parties or be creative, he added.

The dates

The actual Census is still a ways out calendar-wise but is quickly approaching with reminders hitting the mail in early-to-late March, with the actual Census Day being April 1.

Those with questions or who need more information can contact Cheryl Gibbs with the city of Port Arthur at 409-983-8143.