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MILLS TO MANAGE 2000 CENSUS

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Frank Mills has been appointed as manager of the Virgin Islands 2000 Census of Population and Housing. The project locally coincides with the national census and seeks to count every person whose usual place of residence is the Virgin Islands according to the University of the Virgin Islands, which has been tasked with the census project on behalf of the Governor’s Office.
Mills, director of the V.I. Census Data Center the past twelve years, brings a wealth of experience to the census assignment having served as operations supervisor during the 1980 census and as project manager during the last census 10 years ago. Mills has also worked closely with the Federal Bureau of the Census in preparing the content of the questionnaire that will be used during the 2000 census in the territory.
"We cannot underscore the importance of generating a complete and accurate count of residents residing in the territory during this project," Mills said Monday, noting that the census is the only method by which the Virgin Islands can get an adequate level of federal funding for local programs and initiatives.
The primary challenge facing the census project manager is developing a formative strategy to include every household in the count. "Considerable energy will be placed on hiring hundreds of enumerators who would collect raw data in a timely way. These challenges should be lessened to a certain extent, however, given the fact that the census project in the year 2000 will be funded by at least four times the monies set aside for the last census project in 1990 or $4 million, according to Mills.
The Census Data Center director noted that plans are already underway
to the develop a public education campaign which will encourage assistance by the public and inform the community about the project’s importance.
"New approaches will be used in both informing the public about the census and the procedures used to collect data," Mills said. The methods by which the census will be conducted will be fully explained to the public before Census Day. The official start of the census count is expected in April of next year.

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