Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney is chair of the Montana 2020 Census Complete Count Committee, a group of officials across the state focused on obtaining the most accurate count possible.

“This is a federal project, but it’s the state’s that promote it, helping to educate people and today is the day we announced the project,” said Cooney. “There are many jobs that will be available with the census, so we are asking people to get their applications in. They can either go to the local Job Service office, they can go online to the Department of Labor website, or they can go to the census website. It’s a great job if you’re looking to work part time or if you’re a senior citizen.”

Cooney explained why the census is so important.

“The census is so vitally important, because it really does determine how many federal dollars the state will bring in, and it may determine whether or not Montana is eligible for a second Congressional district, so that we could have two Congressmen instead of just one.”

Cooney said the census count will be taken primarily online.

“We’re going to ask people to go online, and this is coming from the federal government,” he said. “They’re asking people to self-report and people will be told where to go, and we’ll see how far we can get going that way. After that, they will reach out by mail for people who didn’t respond, and following that, they’ll actually have people knocking on doors and trying to track people down that way.”

Cooney said self-reporting to the census is the key to getting the job done as quickly as possible.

In 2010, more than 670 Census workers were hired in Montana.