By Erin Hassanzadeh

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The 2020 Census starts this spring. The survey will determine things like state funding and congressional seats, but getting people to respond can be tough.

That’s why the Census Bureau sends out workers to knock on doors and get the numbers right.

Half a million people need to be hired by the time the census goes out in April. The Saint Paul College Student Government group wants to help recruit those workers right now.

St Paul College student Jasmine Mohammad already has a few jobs, but she’s willing to take on one more, going door to door for the census bureau.

“The job opportunity was awesome and then not only that but the importance of it, you know making sure everybody gets accounted for, making sure our state gets the correct funds,” Mohammad said.

For every person who goes uncounted, the state loses out on $2,800 of funding per year.

Results also determine Minnesota’s congressional seats and electoral votes in future presidential elections.

“Basically, we want the domino effect like let’s spread the word of how important this is,” Mohammad explained.

The student government at Saint Paul College wants to make sure everyone is represented but they know they’re up against some common fears and misconceptions about the census.

“There’s a lot of immigrants that are scared of getting counted because they think they may get in trouble for that,” Saint Paul College student Lidia Valdavia said.

International student Lidia Valdavia is applying to be a census worker. She wants to assure her community that their census information isn’t shared with anyone.

The Census Bureau is looking for candidates who are bilingual, like Valdavia. They also want people who live in historically undercounted populations such as renters, immigrants, college students and low-income households.

“It’s going to help the communities around them,” Valdavia said.

“This is another way to encourage student engagement, civic engagement, for our students,” said Saint Paul College Interim President Deidra Peaslee.

You can apply online right now. Applicants will find out in early 2020 whether they got the job. Paid training starts in March.

Census taker jobs pay $16.50 an hour in Ramsey County and $20 an hour in Hennepin County. Hours are flexible and can be built around your own schedule.

The bureau is hiring thousands of workers across the state. To learn more click here.

Erin Hassanzadeh