Census takers ready for the road - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Census takers ready for the road

Scott Kramer Scott Kramer
Dean Kelley Dean Kelley
John Reppun John Reppun

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email 

KAHALUU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Inside the Key Project Multi-Purpose Center in Kahaluu, a roomful of census takers crossed their T's and dotted their I's on the final day of training before they go door-to-door.

"It's just the willingness to do the job. To walk up to a stranger's house, knock on a door and say, 'Hi, I'm Dean from the Census Bureau and I'd like to ask you a few questions," census trainer Dean Kelley said.

The federal government hired 3,000 people in Hawaii. The enumerators will canvas Hawaii neighborhoods for the 2010 Census.

"I thought it would be an interesting challenge and an opportunity to meet some different types of people and encounter different situations," enumerator Scott Kramer said.

It'll be a full-time job. About 200,000 Hawaii households still need to be counted.

The enumerators will work largely in the areas that they live in. It will take them about 15 to 30 minutes to ask residents a series of questions. If no one's home they'll leave a note on the door.

They can make up to six visits to a residence before they give up.

"Primarily they're trying to find out how many people are living in that house.

The goal is get names, birth dates and other information on the record.

"The census, the count, the numbers that get generated in this process are really critical for non-profit organizations, for educational institutions, for helping to bring federal funding into the state that helps us in a myriad of ways." said John Reppun who runs the Key-Project center.

The enumerators put in about 32 hours of classroom training.

The census survey will run through July 10.

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