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Census data impacts industry, business

With Census information set to be in your mailbox in the next few days (between March 12-20), Census officials want to remind everyone of the many uses of Census information.

Accurate Census information and statistics are paramount for industries and communities, because businesses rely on this information for economic development, business decisions and strategic planning.

“We want to make sure we have the most complete count possible for Manchester and Coffee County,” explained Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman. “Manchester is growing. Census information is important when decision are made about where certain businesses are going to locate or where they aren’t going to locate. We want Manchester and Coffee County to be well represented and businesses to have all the information they need to consider us.”

Census data will offer a snapshot of Coffee County for businesses and industries with a brand new data set that includes population trends and projections moving forward, which is important considering the last Census data is now 10 years old. Census information can also impact current business and industry expansion – bringing more good paying jobs to the Coffee County community.

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“It is very important that as many people self-respond as possible,” emphasized Gary Cordell, mayor of Coffee County. “We know that funding is dependent on that, and that is the message we are trying to get out to as many people as possible.”

Much has been publicized about Census count impacting federal funding that is sent to local communities – and it certainly does – but there are many other factors that your information directly impacts.

Commissions also use Census data to redraw congressional districts, which has a direct impact on Coffee County’s legislative representation in the state, and Tennessee’s representation in the United States Congress.
Some states could actually gain seats, while others lose congressional seats.

Privacy and security concerns at ease

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Sometimes people express concern about security of information when it comes to filling out the Census. Census information is confidential. According to Tia Zanghi, partnership specialist with the Census, Census data is stripped down to statistical form when it’s submitted to the President.

The U.S. Census is completely confidential and bound by Title 13. Title 13 protects private information from being published and under the U.S. Code, Census workers take a lifetime oath of confidentiality as well.

By law, census responses cannot be used by any of the following agencies: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Those who violate Title 13 can face a federal prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of $250,000, or both.
“Your information is completely confidential,” reassured Zanghi. “It is protected by law. For 72 years your info is completely locked up. Whenever we submit this information to the president it will be in statistical form only”

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Remember – you can fill out your Census multiple ways

Census invitations will arrive in the mail between March 12-20. These invitations will be addressed to the “resident of” your address, and will include information on how to respond online or over the phone. If you do not respond online or over the phone, you will receive a paper packet in the mail to respond through the United States Postal Service. Those who do not respond in one of those three ways will be visited by an enumerator (or a door knocker) to try and obtain the information.

The more that people respond online, the fewer man hours are spent tracking down responses from residents. To avoid scammers, these enumerators carry an ID badge with a phone number for you to call and certify their identity and purpose of their visit to your home.

Did you miss Monday night’s (March 9) broadcast of Coffee County Red Raider baseball?

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