Statewide— With less than six months to go until the 2020 Census, efforts are ramping up in Indiana and other states to ensure an accurate count. A vital part of that is ensuring there are enough boots on the ground. About 500,000 census takers are needed across the country.Carol Rogers, Governor’s Census Liaison and co-director of the Indiana Business Research Center, contends it’s a great opportunity for students, retirees, and workers in the gig economy. “I encourage a lot of people who need a second job or are just interested in how all this works,” she states. “The pay range is anywhere from 14 to 20 dollars an hour.“The hiring goes kind of in cycles, and so I would encourage people to be patient; they will hear back. ” Rogers notes that census-taking positions do require flexible schedules, a valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle, as well as Internet access and an email account. Hiring already is underway and will continue through next spring.Rogers notes there’s a lot riding on an accurate count, including congressional representation, state legislative districts, school districts and the allocation of federal dollars for crucial programs. “Our tax dollars flow to Washington, but then there are many programs that Washington funds – Medicaid, housing, transportation, special education grants, things like that are part of that money that flows back to us,” she points out.Stakeholders around the state are working with Indiana’s Census 2020 Complete Count Committee to prepare communities for the count. Rogers says it’s crucial that Hoosiers fill out their survey based on where they reside for the majority of the year. “Folks who may be snowbirds or college students who are living most of their time in West Lafayette, Bloomington, Muncie, South Bend, Gary or Merrillville – if that’s where they live most of the year, that’s where they should be counted,” she stresses.For the first time, the Census will have an online survey option available. Indiana’s population for 2018 was estimated at 6.7 million people, and it’s projected to hit 7 million for 2020.