Make it count: Alabama Community Colleges kick off census effort

Make it count: Alabama Community Colleges kick off census effort

By Abby Driggers, Alabama Daily News

The Alabama Community College System wants its students, faculty, staff and community members to participate in the 2020 census. 

The ACCS was awarded an $80,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to establish help centers on its 24 college campuses and adult education sites where community members can come to fill out the census. In addition, Alabama’s community colleges will conduct awareness events across the state.

System Chancellor Jimmy Baker said in a press release that it’s important to educate Alabamians on the importance of the census and provide avenues that assist with completion. The ACCS serves more than 174,000 students each year and employs more than 9,000 individuals in the state.  

“It is evident that the ACCS can have a significant impact on Alabama’s 2020 census count,” Baker said.

Conducted every 10 years, the census data collected determines the number of Congressional seats as well as federal and state funding for programs such as the Federal Pell Grant Program, which more than 60% of the state’s community college students receive. 

According to Election Data Services Inc., a political consulting firm that specializes in redistricting, election administration and the analysis of census data, Alabama is projected to be one of 10 states losing seats.

Formed by Gov. KayIvey in 2018, Alabama Counts 2020 Census is raising awareness about this spring’s census.

“As trusted members of their communities and with locations throughout the state, Alabama’s community colleges are perfect partners as we seek to make it as easy as possible for Alabamians to participate in the 2020 Census,” said Kenneth Boswell, chairman of Alabama Counts! and director of ADECA, in a press release.

“We look forward to the success of their efforts as we seek maximum participation among all Alabamians this spring and summer.”

Every community colleges in Alabama has a designated census contact and will be rolling out plans in the coming months to help inform community member about the importance of census completion.

To connect with a college near you about the 2020 Census visit accs.edu/census. The official census opens for completion April 1, which is “Alabama Census Day.” For more information visit census.alabama.gov.

You can also sign-up to receive reminders and additional information on the Alabama 2020 Census via text message. To do so, text COUNT or CENSO to (205)304-5505.