GLENS FALLS - Unemployment rates remain high across the North Country and the nation as a whole, but a valuable government program may provide some temporary opportunities for those in need of a job.
The 2010 United States Census is currently undertaking a nationwide recruiting effort for people to help with collecting population statistics.
Mary Miller is assistant manager for recruiting at the local census office in Glens Falls, which is in charge of census-taking efforts in Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Warren, Washington, and Fulton counties.
"We are offering $13 an hour plus mileage," said Miller, "and in these hard economic times, that is good money."
And that's just where it starts, said George Demas, local census office manager in Glens Falls. There are positions available along a series of higher levels, each offering a higher rate of pay.
Altogether, said Demas, the 2010 census will need to hire about 1,200 census-takers, also called enumerators, to seek out homes needed for the agency's population count.
"In order to work for the census, you have to take a test," said Demas.
The field test, which consists of 28 multiple choice questions dealing with basic language and math skills, will qualify prospective workers for the vast majority of available positions.
A separate supervisors' test is also available to qualify for some of the managerial positions. However, Demas encouraged all supervisor applicants to take the field test as well, since the Census office often looks to hire managers from in-house.
There is no need to pre-register for any of the tests, said Demas, and there's no need for applicants to worry if they don't perform well.
"They can take the test again," said Demas; "they can take it as many times as they want and the highest score counts."
Applicants who take either of the tests are added to a database that acts as a hiring pool for local census offices. Demas said hiring people from within the communities they canvas is a high priority.