InterAgency Council hears about census work

Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Bob Geisler speaks to members of the Saline County InterAgency Council about the need for census workers at their meeting Tuesday morning, Feb. 23. (Geoff Rands/Democrat-News)

The Saline County InterAgency Council did not have a quorum during its meeting Tuesday, Feb. 23, and was unable to vote on any matters, but heard from Bob Geisler about the 2010 census.

Geisler's responsibility, he said, is to recruit census workers in Saline and Howard counties. The pay for these positions starts at $10.25 per hour, and there are between 40 and 50 workers still needed for each county.

He instructed those interested in applying to call 1-866-861-2010. Callers will be asked for their ZIP codes and transferred to a local office.

To be considered for employment, applicants must answer 10 questions correctly on a 28-question test. The test may be re-taken after a 24-hour period. Practice tests are available online.

Employment can last "up to several weeks," he said, and can be done on the worker's preferred schedule.

The typical return rate for census forms mailed to residences is 70 percent, Geisler said, and census workers will work to complete census work on the remainder.

It is important that an accurate count is obtained because, he said, Missouri has been reported to be within 5,000 citizens of losing a seat in the federal House of Representatives.

Census data is also used to determine federal funding levels for such areas as public education, he added.

"If we're under-counted, we're underfunded," Geisler said.

Saline County Holiday Project

Although Mary Ann Piper, Missouri Valley Community Action Agency career services specialist, has volunteered to co-chair the 2010 Saline County Holiday Project, no one has yet volunteered to join her in that capacity.

InterAgency Council Chairwoman Deana Boerkel said that committees focusing on food, toys and fundraising are already in place, and the project only needs a co-chair to begin planning for 2010.

Marshall Senior Center

Kathy Tyre said that instead of the usual Fried Chicken Friday, the senior center will hold a Fried Fish Friday lunch Friday, March 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. She plans to "see how it goes" before deciding whether to hold the same lunch in April in lieu of the fried chicken lunch.

Tyre also mentioned the upcoming Miles for Meals event, asking if anyone had interest in sponsoring the event and having their name on the event T-shirts at a cost of $150.

West-Central Independent Living Solutions

Cathey Schrader said she is looking for workers. These workers must be able to pass a background check and must have transportation available. For the first 1,000 hours, the pay is $8 per hour. After that time, the rate is increased to $8.25 per hour.

Schrader, located in Sedalia, can be reached by calling 660-829-1980.

Missouri Valley Community Action Agency

Piper reported that she is still looking for people interested in participating in the Community Garden Project. Applications are available at the Family Resource Center, located at 153 S. Odell Ave.

Cherry Merchant, MVCAA community organizer, mentioned the upcoming Poverty to Prosperity Summit, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 7, at Martin Community Center.

She added that the program presented in the New Directions group, formerly known as Saline County Circles, will be Tackling the Tough Skills for the next month, followed by Building Strong Families.

People First of Missouri

People First of Missouri will hold a rally at the state capitol in Jefferson City Tuesday, March 23, said John Burris.

A self-advocacy conference is scheduled for Sept. 23-26 in Kansas City at the Westin Crown Center, Burris said, adding that he expects approximately 1,000 people will attend the conference.

Foster Grandparent Program

Foster Grandparents will sell raffle tickets during the month of March, said Field Coordinator Marilyn Rimmer. Proceeds from the raffle will go to offset the cost of operating the OATS van.

The Lighthouse Shelter

The Lighthouse Shelter will hold a Crock-Pot Cook-Off & Chili Supper Sunday, March 21, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Martin Community Center. The cost to participate in the cook-off is $20, and the cost for attendance alone is $8, or $4 for those 12 and under. The winner in each food category will receive a cash prize and trophy.

The third annual Run for Shelter will be held Sunday, April 18. Registration for the five-kilometer run/walk will begin at 8 a.m., with the run beginning at 8:30 a.m. The cost to participate is $20, but the fee is waived for those who collect $50 in pledges.

The next InterAgency Council meeting will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 30, at the University of Missouri Extension office.

Contact Geoff Rands at

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