With the opening of the new U.S. Census office in Orem Tuesday, Cathy L. Lacey, director for the Denver region and data center in Dallas, said the most important words to her right now are “I need help.”

The new office must hire 1,700 part and full-time employees before the 2020 Census begins in April. The area for the Orem regional office covers two-thirds of the state, from Lehi to the state border and the entire width of the state.

The announcement was made during the grand opening of the Orem office, located at 750 Technology Ave., building F suite 3 in the basement.

“I’m thrilled to have the office here. They have my full support for the 2020 Census,” said Utah County Commissioner Tanner Ainge.

Ainge noted all of the things that affect residents in the county that are powered by data collected in a census. Those include the areas of transportation, housing, emergency services, special needs through nonprofit organizations, setting legal land boundaries and more.

He also said the census was set by the Constitution as a law to be done every 10 years.

“That is the tradition that brings us here today,” Ainge said. “We have needs for all those things in our community.”

Ainge added, “The census helps us really stop and measure our progress. Let’s make sure as a state and county we’re counted.”

Data from the census can help paint a picture of what was happening in the country at the time and for Steven Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch, it tells a story of families.

“At FamilySearch hands down the most used records are the census records,” Rockwood said. “Stories are woven in the fabric of those numbers. The nation’s story is preserved in the census records.”

According to Rockwood, the census accounts for every member of the family.

“When the 1940 Census was made available we could see my father as a boy in Salt Lake City,” Rockwood said. “The census is a national treasure. It’s a 10-year snapshot. The 1940 Census showed people who lived through the depression and were getting ready for war.”

Lacey continued with the mantra of help to fill the jobs. Those who have a second language are greatly needed in many parts of the Orem census office area.

“We are looking for people who want to be a part of history,” Lacey said. “The census is safe and easy. It’s important because we supply statistics for the next 10 years.”

According to census data, 35,000 residents have moved into the Orem region in less than a year. The first goal is to do address canvassing to get all of those new people on the address roll.

Lacey said that residents both legal and illegally in the country need not worry about their status. Questions do not include names. If the census is done online, there is complete privacy.

It is important for everyone to take it because real numbers will support needs and government response to disasters, roads, building and more than 200 nonprofit organizations that get funding through data on population, economy, etc.

“We are not asking citizenship questions,” Lacey said. “We don’t attach names to statistics. Individuals unborn will be affected by the Census either directly or indirectly.”

For information on census jobs visit https://2020census.gov/jobs.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

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