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Census preparations ahead of schedule

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Some of the preparations for next year's U.S. Census have been finished far ahead of schedule.

Officials say temporary workers completed address verifications in the St. Louis area in less than three weeks; the Census Bureau had expected that work to take about three months.

Census Bureau Assistant Regional Director Sydnee Chattin-Reynolds said handheld computers improved efficiency, and the tough economy has made it easy to find well-qualified temporary employees.

"Our staff that we've been able to hire has just been phenomenal," Chattin-Reynolds said. "We have been so pleased with the level and quality of work of the people who have worked for us. Between those two measures and our preparation work ahead of time, we have just been able to complete this process in a much faster and accurate method than we have at any other time."

Chattin-Reynolds said the Census Bureau hired about 1,000 people to verify addresses in the St. Louis area. She said three times as many will be needed next year when census workers go door to door.

Chattin-Reynolds said U.S. residents will get census forms by mail in March. People who do not return the form will likely get a visit from a census worker.

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