As 2019 wraps up and the new year approaches, so does the 2020 census.
Right now, the U.S. Census Bureau is hoping thousands of people on the Central Coast will apply to be census takers.
"We need thousands of people to apply and right now is the time to apply because those jobs are going to go quickly," said Patricia Ramos, U.S. Census Bureau Media Specialist.
Census takers will knock on doors to collect basic information about their community.
"Census taker job is great for the elderly, students, or even people who are looking for extra income," Ramos said.
It pays $18.50 an hour and requires about 25 hours per week.
"A great way to earn extra income and maybe pay off those holiday bills," Ramos added.
The census helps determine voting district lines, representation in Congress, and how much federal funding a community needs.
"Medicare, SNAP, WIC, Pell grants... They are all funded by statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau," Ramos explained.
She says undocumented people, foreign exchange students and people staying in the U.S. for an extended time all need to be counted.
"We're not out to enforce or go get anybody but the information that we capture, it's going to provide a lot of services to a community," she said.
In an era of scams, Ramos warns you'll only hear from the Census Bureau via mail.
Respond by phone, mail or, for the first time in history, online, knowing your information is confidential and secure.
"The U.S. Census Bureau does not share any of the information that respondents provide with any other organization or entity, state, federal level, whatsoever," Ramos said.
If you don't respond, a census taker will come to your door. But first, confirm they're legitimate. Ask to see their badge and verify who they are through the census website or phone number.
Ramos says census takers are there to help others complete a simple but crucial civic duty.
"If you care about your community and how it's progressing, absolutely fill out your census form," she said.
The Census Bureau will begin mailing out forms in spring and census takers will be out during early summer.
Click here or call 1-855-JOB-2020 to apply to be a census taker.