Newburgh held one of its many Census job fairs last Thursday afternoon in the Newburgh Free Library. This job fair was different compared to others as it was held in conjunction with the Visconti Bus Services’ Job Fair.
The Census job fair was organized by Newburgh Counts. Individuals from all over attended the fair. One update that the job fair announced is that the wage for Census jobs has been raised to from 18 dollars an hour to 23 dollars an hour.
“Our sole focus here is to hire people from the community,” said Mary Lou Carolan, Assistant Director of the Newburgh Free Library. When more members of the community work for the census, residents feel more comfortable responding to the Census. “Part of what we’re trying to do is combat the fear, the apprehension, misinformation that surrounds the Census.”
Municipalities receive funding based off of Census numbers. With a high count, more funding is allocated. For areas like Newburgh, this funding is especially pertinent.
“The funding that is on the table, we don’t want to leave it there,” said Carolan. “We want to put it in our schools, our streets, our healthcare programs, our childcare programs. We want it out there in the community, so people get the services they need.”
The event was promoted via the library system, by the city council, over social media, and through word of mouth.
According to Carolan, the Census is currently looking to hire over 700 people. So far over 100 people have been hired. Hiring should continue until the goal of over 700 people is reached. The Census officially begins on March 12. Letters will go out to homes, and the online site surveys will go live until the end of April.
Lee Manning Harrington came to the job fair after being laid off last Tuesday. “Newburgh, as long as I’ve been here, is so scarce with jobs,” said Harrington. “It’s always been that way unfortunately.”
Harrington heard about the fair after seeing flyers in front of the library. He believes the fair could have been promoted better.
Jobs that are currently available include enumerators, and administrative jobs. In an urban area like Newburgh, Census jobs can help improve job prospects.
Deirdre Glenn worked as an enumerator for the last Census in 2010. Glenn is interested in working on the Census again this year.
“It’s [the Census] so vitally important to our representation,” said Glenn. “To our funding, to various other aspects of life in the City.”
“It’s such a great opportunity for a community that’s been historically disenfranchised to really take a leadership role and a proactive role in making positive change,” said Carolan.
Another job fair was held last Saturday in the Newburgh Free Library.