Census Opens Center In Essex, Generating 2,500 Temporary Jobs

July 01, 2009|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,gus.sentementes@baltsun.com

The Census Bureau opened a new data center in Baltimore County on Monday that will generate more than 2,500 temporary jobs and process millions of questionnaires for the 2010 census.

The 236,500-square-foot facility - called the Baltimore Data Capture Center - is in Essex, in the 8400 block of Kelso Drive. It will be managed by Lockheed Martin, a major federal government security contractor based in Bethesda, and subcontractor Computer Sciences Corp.

Beginning in September, temporary workers will be recruited from the Baltimore area to staff the center; a census official said, and a dedicated Web site will be available that month to assist job seekers.

Fronda Cohen, a spokeswoman for the county Department of Economic Development, said the jobs, though temporary, can help act as a bridge for people who are out of work in a tough economy. The county's unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in April, the most recent month that figures were available, but the jobs - ranging from forklift operators to data processors - will draw workers from the greater Baltimore area.

About 40 percent of the 180 million census forms that will be completed are expected to be handled at the center, which was used before in 2000 by the Census Bureau for data processing, Cohen said. Two other data centers - in Jacksonville, Ind., and Phoenix, Ariz. - will process the remaining forms.

Operations at the Baltimore center are expected to cease in August 2010.

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