Dear Editor:

Re:  “Water concerns and mock census on commission agenda,” June 28, 2017

Thank you for your coverage of the Pocahontas County Commission meeting on June 21, 2017, when I made a presentation about two very important U.S. Census Bureau operations:  The Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) and hiring for the 2018 Census End-to-End Test, which is taking place in nine counties in West Virginia, including Pocahontas.

Please allow me to clarify statements made in the article:

“The census list of addresses is confidential and is made available by the Homeland Security Department to the U.S. Census Bureau for census purposes only.” 

This statement is inaccurate and needs to be clarified.

The LUCA operation gathers information through address canvassing to provide a statewide update of addresses. These addresses are shared with the West Virginia Homeland Security to be used for 911 emergency calls and services.

The statement was made in reporting information about the LUCA operation, which provides the only opportunity for local jurisdictions to review and comment on the Census Bureau’s confidential residential address list.  The Census Bureau relies on a complete and accurate address list to reach and count everyone in the country. 

The Census Bureau is required by law to protect the information it collects.  The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release information it collects that could identify an individual, organization, business, etc.

In reporting the hiring operations for the 2018 Census End-to-End Test, it was reported that “training sessions will be held from October 2017 through January 2018.” 

This is incorrect. 

The training sessions to be held from October through January will be for local jurisdiction staff that will be participating in the Local Update of Census Addresses operation.  Hiring for the 2018 End-to-End Test has already begun, and applicants selected through the current assessment process will begin training much sooner than October.

Assessments are currently scheduled for:

· Durbin Library, July 5 at 3 p.m.

· Green Bank Library, July 6 at 10:30 a.m. (the 2:30 session has been cancelled)

· Linwood Library, July 7 at 1 p.m.

Additional assessments will be scheduled throughout the county during July and August, and I’ll be sure to let you know when and where.

Ms. Bennett is correct when she reported that the “census numbers are critically important to the wellbeing of each county,” and I’m looking forward to working with everyone in the county to ensure we count everyone once, only once, and in the right place.

Best,
Janet Young Spry
Partnership Specialist